Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bigger Picture Moments: At the intersection of Gay Marriage and Abortion Poltics and Being Cool

Probably he lied.

I cupped his five-year-old face in my hands, his cheeks still round enough to remind me that he's not all that old, and I asked him earnestly, softly if he had stretched the truth and why.

Why would you stretch the truth out of the shape of reality? Why would you lie to your friends, son?

It cascades out of his mouth, a waterfall of truth spilling over his lips after the damn was broken by the sheer force of a genuine inquiry. 

"Because I want to be cool."

We all do, baby.

We all want to be cool.

We all want other people to look at us and see that we are worthwhile and lovely and valuable

I confess this to him as much as I confess it to my own self.

We care for what others think of us, and we forget for Whom we're living

so much that we

forget to care for others and remember the life we've been offered through grace.

We forget that every interaction is either laced with grace or condemnation; we can either help each other see the goodness of a good Creator that they were intended to reflect

or we can pick apart each others' flaws and parade them across the stage, encouraging those around us to wear the mask, to hide our hearts, to lie for acceptance.

I share with my boy, this oldest soul with whom our family has been graced, and I tell him that even when the rest of the people in his life miss the mark

even when grace isn't overflowing in relationships

even when we feel everything but loved and valued and worthwhile

we can rest heavy into God's grace

we can know we are loved because of that grace

and simply because we are His. 

Still, though, I know, that our hearts long to also be woven into the threads of community here.

Our hearts long to be unwrapped carefully by those around us who can show us pieces of the character of God

and also help us see His very image in our own lives.

He nods in understanding and says, "Yeah, and wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same? If we all tried to be like everyone else?"

It would be boring.

And it would be limiting.

And it would be the farthest thing from a great design.

We meet each other on the solid ground of Grace, on the solid ground of the Word that gives us truth and grace and decide that as we move forward in loving God and loving each other, that we'll camp out on this sacred ground. 

I remember these words this morning when I wake up

and I find myself on edge.

This morning there's been a lot grounds on which to land and stand firm: the Supreme Court appealing parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, more abortion politics out of Texas, gun rights here in our local community -- all topics that stir deep thought and even deeper feelings.

All topics that leave us divided and irritable and shaking fingers at each other.

All topics that grieve me because we are constantly missing what's at the heart of the matter in more cases than one and in more ways than what can be summed up in a short paragraph.

I'm human, and I'm tempted to go to those other grounds, and die on those hills where others lay slayed open and bleeding out beliefs and values, their convictions and understandings.

I'm tempted to go there and say, "but this is {fill in the blank}" and "that is {fill in the blank}, and I'm often tempted to go and do it all in the name of God. 

But I remember what my boy and I discussed yesterday, and how does that help me love God and value others?

I remember our conversation about feeling valued and loved. It's not me, but the Spirit who does the hard work of changing people's hearts when they need to be changed. And see how I said hearts? Not their politics. It's the heart that needs to be changed toward the heart of the Father. We know the Father's heart for us because His Word lays it out. We don't have to guess. But when we use scripture as a weapon, words as swords to piece each other instead of a truth wrapped in love letter, I just wonder what we are doing to each other; I just wonder what we are doing to the Body. 

We act either as agents of grace, showing His heart for us, or squash grace before it overflows; we either help find the image of God in each other or we reflect a heart of condemnation. We can help others see the Father's heart for them, or see help them see our own individual beliefs. We can speak the truth in love (and, friends, there is truth and it's His Word), or we can speak it mercilessly.

I am reminded, slowly, almost daily, that 

the only hill on which I want to stand and dig my heals in

is the one where Jesus died, Truth splayed across a cross and grace came alive.


  1. Stunning. So sad how much division and intolerance has been born 'in the name of God'....I will come back and read this, I'm sure!

  2. Your first post of this nature completely changed my thinking on this issue. I could hear the voice of God speaking to me, telling me that if politics causes me to be angry or hateful towards another one of his children, then I need to avoid it. And I have, since then, refrained from political discussions or even much reading, especially on facebook. And today, just as I'm tempted to change my mind, this post pops up in my newsfeed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your heart today. :)

  3. Dear dear Hy. I am one of the uncool ones so therefore I keep my mouth zipped up tight. If a person wants to know my opinion I will let them know gently in person. And often I disagree with society as a whole. It is hard to disagree... It is easier to just listen to what others have to say and stay quiet.

    I agree with you, but I think we've talked about this before. Politics are so personal.


There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.