~ 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.
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.
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?