I’ve said over and over that we need affirming allies of faith to share their story of how they came to be affirming. Few of us grew up in an environment that was kind to queer people. I started by sharing my story, then sharing my friend Beth’s, and it’s turned into a series I’m so encouraged by.
So here is the third installment of what I’m calling the Seat-Saver Stories. Meet my friend, Alicia. Her words below.
Blue Babies Pink. Looking back, B.T. Harmon’s story was the catalyst to falling head over heels for our LBGTQ+ community.
B.T. takes the reader through his journey as the gay son of a prominent Southern Baptist pastor. The journals he secretly kept about being a gay Christian morphed into the beautifully written and deeply moving blog and podcast “Blue Babies Pink”. B.T. details the enormous lengths he went to in an effort to “undo” the gay and when that failed, to at least try and live like a straight person for decades.
B.T. was a blue baby, struggling to breathe without oxygen and trying to survive. He desperately prayed for pink, in whatever form God wanted.
I sobbed as I read his story.
I thought of the times I had oh-so-casually said “Hate the sin, love the sinner”. I thought of how my brain registered “LBGTQ+” as “Agenda”, rather than fellow human beings, just like me. I knew in my heart that FEAR had led its posture toward this community, not love.
I am prone to fear what I do not understand. I generalize, make assumptions, and even de-humanize.
As I listened to story after story like B.T.’s, as I made an effort to befriend people from the LBGTQ+ community, my heart was broken for the way I had seen them as “other”. Deserving of love, certainly, but separate from me. Always through the filter of theology first.
The seed of fear in my heart was yanked out clear down to the root and replaced with the absolutely transformational seed of the love of Jesus.
Jesus – the one whose fury was aimed squarely at the keepers of the law.
Jesus – the one who extended his hand to those on the margins.
Jesus – the one who commanded me to love my neighbor as myself.
No holds barred, no holding back, no “buts” or “ifs” or “howevers”. No apostrophes.
I was promoted from a gate-keeper to a door opener. What a joy to experience the freedom to just simply love. And what a grace to experience love in return.
I am so grateful to Alicia for opening the door and saving me a seat at her table. Check out more of her work here.
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