This week’s ruling regarding same-sex marriages has given me so many moments to pause, and to pray. I’m going to be brutally honest. Some of you might want to hit a “dislike” button (if there was one), and that’s okay. I value the fact that we all have opinions, and they matter.
My heart is conflicted about the ruling. On the one hand, as a Christian, I believe in the word of God and His definition of marriage. I really do. On the other, I believe in freedom, life without persecution, and civil liberties for all. I have always rooted for the underdog. I have always felt great empathy for people who struggle. Even as a kid, I remember talking with my mom about the social injustices of the world.
This whole thing has brought back a memory of mine that I had forgotten about. In my twenties, I worked in the mail room of a large grocery wholesale warehouse. One of the male employees of the warehouse asked me out on a date. I told him that it was very nice of him, but that I wasn’t interested in going on a date with him. Nothing personal, he was just not my type. I had the right to say no.
The next Monday when I returned to work, the Human Resources Director asked that I come to his office. I thought I was being fired or something, but could not think of anything wrong that I had done. When I arrived in his office, he said, “Caroline, I need to tell you that there is a rumor going around the entire warehouse and offices about you.” I sat there in a state of intrigue. He said, “Someone spread the rumor that you are a lesbian.” I laughed. I knew it was the guy that I had rejected. I told him my sexual orientation was no one’s business, but I liked men… a lot.
He assured me that it was being handled, and they would not allow for this to continue. As I left the office, I felt the eyes of others on me. Throughout the weeks afterward, I heard whispering and laughter when I walked by. I felt the glaring eyes of the men in the warehouse, and I felt extremely vulnerable. It was not a good feeling at all. Being called a lesbian was not one of the worse things I could have been called, but the whole experience was disheartening. I felt judged. I experienced worry over how far this rumor could go. I was angry, and sad.
For the past day or so since the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriages, I have witnessed both elation and bitterness from my friends who are on different sides of the issue. I have read hate-filled messages on my Facebook news feed. I have cringed when my friends who are not believers have taken this opportunity to bash Christians. I have wondered, “Do they understand that in many ways, they are bashing me?” On the other hand, I have also read cringe-worthy responses from my Christian friends. I have wondered, “Are their words and actions representing Christ?”
Throughout the past few days, I have read where others have commented about the sanctity of marriage. Let’s be honest, marriage in our current culture has been a bit of a mess. If we include that this ruling has defiled the sanctity of marriage, then we must include that domestic violence, divorce, greed, emotional absence, and infidelity also defile it. I believe that is something we can all agree on. It is also something that we should all be in prayer about.
I have been praying about all of this. I have asked God to forgive my thoughts about this whole subject. I have asked Him for clarity in this confusing state I find myself in. I have also asked God to convict my heart with a passion for His children – straight, gay, atheist, Christian, Muslim, conservative, liberal, and lost.
The one thing that has stuck out the most in my social media feed are the words, “Love Wins”. Honestly, I cannot think of more sweet-sounding words, My prayer is that love always declares itself the winner, and that Christians would respond in ways that show Jesus to the world. After all, love has already won. Let us not forget that.
I’m not a perfect Christian. In many ways, I fail God daily. After reading this, you might think that I am not Christian enough if I am not completely against this ruling. That is okay with me. I would just ask that you would include me in your prayers, instead of your persecution.
In many ways though, I am glad that I am conflicted about it. Because of it, I feel closer to God. I feel a deeper connection to the human experience. I feel the need to converse with Him more, and to trust Him more. I have this yearning to reach out to others, to share in their experiences, to understand their reasoning, and to show Christ to them.
“Love Wins” This is something I believe in.
On the cross, Love gave all. On the cross, LOVE WON. Despite the worry of many, the truth is that Christ gave His life for everyone – straight, gay, atheist, Christian, Muslim, conservative, liberal, and lost. I cannot think of a greater example of love than this.
After all, love has already won. Let us not forget that.