Thursday, December 29, 2011

Draft: Rumors to Nudge Me

Among the list of posts unpublished this year are six drafts
~ the first draft entry reads:

"If nothing else, God used the rumors to nudge me into
something I’ve been avoiding for a long time: my own
compassionate statement of beliefs, one I could articulate
to people who may agree with me, and those who don’t.
I believe Christ calls us to listen patiently, then speak
with love and wisdom as He did in John 8:1-11 – one of
the cornerstone scriptures for whispered hopes."
—Rw 04 Mar 2011

The words, snipped from an email, quickly transport me back to a moment when I called a close friend a coward, then realized the cowardice was all mine.

My name calling preceded a meeting of twenty or so male leaders and three women from a range of denominations. The topic was sexual orientation, how churches often alienate LBGTQ humanity, a sharing of ideas for making our faith communities more welcoming? Less hostile? I doubt that anyone in the meeting walked away with a plan of action, a strategy for change. I came away agreeing with the man I called a coward: we church-people were asking the wrong questions.

Rereading my pre-meeting email, I now see change within me.

Almost a year earlier, in spring 2010, I'd refused to speak, passed up the opportunity to express my beliefs about sexual orientation, in the quintessential safe-church-place: my Sunday afternoon small group. Fear silenced me in a room full of close friends.

Months later I felt the guiding hand of God, a summons to articulate and risk more, a different audience, men like those in the meeting, near-strangers less likely to agree with me.

That is the biggest risk, isn't it? To articulate our faith to people who may not agree with us, in a way that might be heard, a way embodying the love and wisdom of Christ – a man who was tortured and put to death.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
—Martin Niemöller

In John 8:1-11, Jesus pauses to bend and draw on the ground, stands and asks a question, then stoops and returns to drawing. He takes a submissive posture and exhibits a calm faith in God.

Jesus invites me to bend, to stoop, to exhibit faith.

Christ asks me to put down my stones.


Words of Healing?

John 8:1-11
Photo Credit


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post. I hate it that we make our churches into country clubs where only certain people feel welcome; I hate it that we use the Bible as a weapon against others. We should be welcoming all people in, inviting them to hear the Word of God and to let the Holy Spirit do the work that rightly belongs to God. Thank you for your courage :)

Rw said...

Lori ~ thank you for your encouraging words. this blog was a long time in coming. i spend a lot of time (though probably not enough) thinking about how to be heard in kindness by those who disagree with me... a far cry from the "I'm always right" woman Lw married!