Saturday, February 11, 2012

Approaching the Other

This week on my facebook page I posted a link to a story about Washington (the state) about to approve legislation that would allow same sex couples to marry. In case you didn't know, I fully support marriage equality, actually I support all equality race, gender, sexuality all of it is important. Most people know where I stand on this. What I didn't expect was someone to proof text me on facebook alas it happened there in the comments section was Leviticus. I loathe the practice of proof texting. I knew the writer was looking for an argument. I also know that I am called to love and serve God's people and that sometimes that means loving and serving people I frankly could live with out. I mean rally who wants to love the smelly guy on the bus or the drunk who gets kicked out of a bar. It's hard to do but we are called to it. It is also really hard to love someone with whom you disagree, even if they smell better.

I had to think for awhile about how I would respond, this to me seemed like a pretty typical text to get thrown at me. However, it also called people whom I love and adore an abomination. I had to choose which route I wanted to go. I could have easily spouted out a hundred reasons why I disagreed. Instead I responded in a very thought out way. He replied and at the very least was respectful. We took a few shots back and forth before I called it quits. I said we obviously weren't going to agree but that I believe we believe in the same God, so we should find a way to find common ground and serve that God. There was no response after that.

In this I saw growth in myself. I didn't allow my anger to show. I didn't let my words come out like venom. I couldn't, I wanted to badly, but I couldn't. I am always saying we need to respect each others beliefs. That means I have to respect the belief of someone who doesn't agree with me. If I took away his right to believe as such my own right to believe as I do would be threatened. I am also a little sad that there was no further response on working together. In one way I am glad that it stopped the public and potentially hurtful words but I am sad that our conversation couldn't continue around common ground because I believe there has to be some somewhere.

The whole exercise was good practice for becoming a pastor.

I am grateful for the practice and in someways grateful for diversity of thought.

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