I have a son. He is smart, funny, talented. He has one of the biggest hearts I've ever known. His handsome face so often mirrors his dad's. Sometimes I see my own dad in him. And my mother's dad. Facial expressions, gestures, personality traits that span generations ~ all evidence of gene pools we don't choose.
My son loves nature. With a degree in Environmental Sciences, he has pursued a career preserving what he is so passionate about, God's creation. He has taught me by example what it means to step up and do what you can to make a difference.
My son is a huge Dodger fan. If he's not at the game, he's likely watching it or listening to the play by plays. Without a doubt, he bleeds blue! If you know my son, you already know all of this.
Oh, there's one more thing. My son is gay.
I won't say I have a gay son. Because his sexuality isn't what defines him as a man. It's just part of the whole package.
There's more. My son loves the Lord. And despite the overall judgmental tone he has encountered in the church, he remains strong in his desire and determination to know God and to walk with him. What's more, he wants to be a voice for others like him, who love God but have experienced mixed and hurtful messages from the church.
I don't know why my son is gay. But as his mom, I'm convinced he arrived this way. Years of research on my part has me thinking there is probably a very good biochemical reason why he isn't wired to be attracted to the opposite sex.
I don't have all the answers. And honestly ~ many days I'm not all that sure what the questions should be!
This I do know. Only ONE knows and completely understands. And that's God. After all, God created him. I only had the privilege of carrying him in my womb and watching him grow into the man he is today.
Why am I sharing this? Because maybe ~ just maybe ~ talking about it will help someone else who is struggling with the reality that they ~ or someone they love ~ is gay.
And maybe ~ just maybe ~ my brothers and sisters who comprise the church, we can recognize our tendencies towards labeling and judging, and take a good hard look at a growing number of people who are finding themselves on this journey. People who are hurting, who need LOVE more than they need a pat answer. Who need to hear that God LOVES them...just AS THEY ARE, unconditionally.
Because there are too many teens and young adults who are confused. Many are filling the pews of our churches. Looking for answers, affirmation, connection. Who DID NOT CHOOSE this. Who are trying to figure out who they are, as they listen to voices telling them that who they are is wrong ~ resulting in a suicide rate that is among the highest in this mislabeled and misunderstood population.
And because there are parents...grandparents...families who are struggling. Because someone they love more than life itself is wrestling with an identity crisis and a level of pain they can't begin to understand.
Like I said, I don't have all the answers. But I can speak from experience. I can be honest and tell you I have cried out to God too many times to count. And always, it's the same. JUST LOVE HIM. LOVE HIM LIKE I DO.
Do not try to "fix" him. Or "correct" him. Or "preach" to him. Just love him! Just as he is. For the exceptional man he is, inside and out.
That I can do! And I can shout it from the rooftops. I LOVE MY SON! I am so stinking proud to be his mom. So proud of the man he is!!
One final thought ~ We as a church body are missing out on getting to know some of the sweetest people. What's more, we are all too often, inflicting wounds by our attitudes and behavior. Oh, if only we could see the injuries we are causing!
Because, honestly ~ when was the last time any of us invested ourselves in someone who happens to be gay? When did we take time to listen...really listen...and try to understand their journey, and what they must face? Especially inside the walls of a church. When did we make the choice to love a gay person unconditionally and extravagantly ~ no agenda, just love?
As a mom, I have to say it. I am really tired of platitudes and attitudes that alienate my son and the entire gay community. I am so tired of people tossing verses like weapons, people whose own struggles are somehow deemed more "acceptable". I am weary and burdened, listening to those who think they've got this one all figured out, and are all too eager to voice their "wisdom".
From this mom's perspective? YOU HAVEN'T A CLUE.
I have a son. Who happens to be gay. Who loves the Lord. Despite the hurtful behavior of many who align themselves with the church. And this mom? I love my son. Completely. Unconditionally. Extravagantly. Gay or straight. I love the man he's become.
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