From my conversations with Aaron, I can honestly tell you that this guy is about intentionally loving people- I don’t think we realize how rare that really is. The brief conversations I have had with him have been encouraging as I look to how this is going to shake out in the church. If people are about love, we should be so optimistic. I am. Especially after reading this.
Aaron blogs over at Cultural Savage, you can land over there by clicking here.
You have a name.
Too often, you are a topic for discussion. You become something for conservative preachers to demonize and slight, or something for progressive thinkers to wave about as a flag, proving their liberal and loving nature. But you are neither target nor trophy. You as you are, you are named.
I would like to say that I have always remembered your name, but I can’t. I am guilty just like the preachers and the pendants. It’s not that have ever consciously thought of the LGBTQ community as one homogeneous, faceless mass of people, but when I don’t intentionally act on the reality that you are you, individualized, personal, and with your own name, I do you unintentional harm. And I harm myself as well.
See, I don’t have all the answers. I am aware that people on both sides of this “discussion” about LBGTQ and the church, about you and the church, seem to have all the answers in a neat little package. I don’t have that. I have questions, the kind of questions that are hard to ask. Questions that will get me scorned by conservatives and judged by progressives. Questions I have been afraid to ask you, because I forget that you have a name. It’s easy to assume that some topics are off-limits, that some things can never be talked about. It’s easy to let the fear of what people will say and how people will react keep me silent with my questions. In the face of that fear, it can hard to remember that you are not a topic.
But I need to remember. You are not a topic, an issue, a political or theological stance. You are human, full of complexity, personality, intelligence, and emotional depth that all together are uniquely you. There is only one you.
And you have a name.
Clint. Shannon. Lauren. Steven. Cassie. Matt. Brandon. Nikki.
You have a name.
You are who I want to talk to. You are whose story I want to hear. You are who I want to laugh with. You are who I want to meet my son and my wife. You are who I want as a part of my life. You are who I want to love simply because you are you. It is you who have been a good friend to me. It is you who I enjoy beer with. It is you who I am glad to meet. It is you who I am excited for when you find a new crush. It is you who are complexly human, full of everything that makes humanity so wonderful and terrible.
It is you who has a name.
It is your name that God knows.
You who are made in the image of God, you are valuable to me. You are valuable because you are you, and I don’t want to spend my life not knowing you because of some issues, some questions, and some words flung far and wide my preachers and pendants. Yes, I have questions that I haven’t been able to find answers to, but I also haven’t bothered to ask you, to talk to you, to hear from you and be heard by you.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that there may not be a “solution” to this issue, mainly because people are not problems.
You are not a problem to me. You are a name I am glad to sit at the table of God with.
Forgive me for forgetting you name. I will try to keep it on my lips more these days.
It’s a beautiful name.
Seriously, be sure to check out his blog