I am overwhelmed lately. I don’t even know how to get this out right now. So ridiculous. My husband (bless him) calls me “passionate,” and I do love him for that. I love the fact that he’s chosen that single word instead of “emotional” or whatever else could come with a negative connotation. Insert your worst word there because “emotional” would probably be mine. Today a dam broke inside me.
I am devastated and heartbroken over this mass killing in Orlando. I’m sad for every single person involved and I’m sad for the LGBT community as a whole. I’ve read blog posts with people describing Pulse as the place where their people were. That strikes right to my core. Every single one of us longs for that place. The place where we can be ourselves without worrying how we will be received. For some of us, that’s church. I pray that’s what you feel at church, but can I be totally honest? That’s not how I feel at church. For some of us, that’s work. I’m so happy for you if that’s you. It’s hard to find a job that you love going to day in and day out. My work friends have become my people, but that’s where it ends usually. I don’t see them when we aren’t at work. My place is the table. For these people, that nightclub was that place. Now that safe place isn’t safe and I doubt it will ever exist for them in the same way. It may never reopen. What now?
My next reason for devastation is that I’m passing out my truly heartfelt sympathy to an unfamiliar people group and I feel like I’m coming up short. That’s because I am. As a Christian and member of a church, I have failed the LGBT population by not loving them well. I read a post by Jen Hatmaker (she’s my spirit animal clearly) on Facebook that talks about our honoring these people in their death means nothing if we didn’t honor them in their life. That’s so true. That is usually my go-to feeling when something happens and suddenly people are coming out of the woodwork to be “helpful.” Bye! If you aren’t around in my every day, I don’t want you around during my time of need. I see exactly where they’re coming from.
So now what? I live in Tiny Town, USA. I don’t know any LGBT family members very well (my family spans the country and there are a lot of odd age gaps). I don’t come into contact with a whole bunch of LGBT people on a day to day basis, but I want to love this people group well. What can I do? If you’ve seen a “10 ways to love the LGBT population” blog post, link it here. I want to hear from real people who love other real people well. My Bible never once says that I have to agree with everyone around me, but it does call me to love every person alike. It calls me to love with abandon–wholly and without limitation. Love is a verb. It calls to action.
I have these same sentiments toward the black and Hispanic communities in my area. I’ve failed miserably in loving them too. What’s my first step? There’s tons more on this to come as I wade through this very awkward and unfamiliar territory. There are some great people who have more of a platform than I do that are leading the way. I plan to look to them and get some wheels turning. This is not a topic that I’m willing to sit back and watch pass by. If you’re joining me on this, please feel free to contact me and let’s do it together. Let’s lock arms and make change in ourselves so we can love others better. And if you are LGBT, please hear my heart in this. I’m sorry. I suck at this. Tell me how I can do better.