Tag Archives: Christian

Imagine…

20 Nov

 

Two weeks ago, I attended a Jennifer Knapp concert at Southern Oregon University.  Ms. Knapp is a singer/songwriter who as a young woman made a name for herself in the Christian music scene, and my church (along with a few other churches and the Queer Resource Center) helped bring her to Ashland.  And while her music is riveting, it was not the only reason for her visit.  You see, Jennifer Knapp was adored as a Christian “rock star” until she came out as gay.  Then things changed.   The “Christians” that had loved her music before, now turned their backs on her.  She was no longer considered one of them.

Ms. Knapp shared her spiritual journey with the audience.  She explained how she tried to leave Christianity behind, but felt that the teachings aligned with her core beliefs… and came to the conclusion that even though she was “gay”, she was also a Christian.

After the concert, Jennifer took questions/comments from the audience.  The one that moved me to tears went as follows.  A woman in her forties shared that she had recently come out to her family, and that since that time her son has had nothing to do with her.  She asked what she could do to and Jennifer said, “Love him.  Whenever you see him, love him.  You can’t change him… but you can love him.”

Jennifer sounds like a Christian to me, by golly.   But wait, she’s gay?  So the fact that she is loving, accepting, and forgiving doesn’t count then, right?  Right.

A few days ago I saw on Facebook that it was the one year anniversary of this post, I am Christian, unless you’re gay.  It’s a great article, and if you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to do so.  The author, Dan Pearce tells us about his friend “Jacob” who is gay… and he goes on to say that his article is not about homosexuality, instead – It’s about love. It’s about kindness. It’s about friendship.  

Jacob had asked Dan to share with his audience (Dan writes the blog, single dad laughing) how it feels to be gay in a conservative Christian community.   Here is a quote from that article, “You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”  

After reading the article, my heart ached for Jacob and the fact that he is virtually being shunned by the community in which he lives for being who he is - the person God made him to be.  My head raced with questions: Who are we to tell another person how to live their life?  What gives us the right to judge them?  What part of that kind of this behavior is “being Christian?”

From all the stories that I have heard about Jesus, I just can’t imagine him turning his back on anyone.  One story that many are familiar with (and one of my favorites) is the about the woman who is to be stoned to death for being an adulterer (according to ancient law).  Jesus does not question the law, but instead says “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

It seems that we are still acting like those ancient people – wanting to find fault with others (and throw stones) because they are not like us – or they’re not acting like we think they should act.   And when we are focused on others, we remain blissfully blind to our own shortcomings.   But try to imagine what the world might be like if we tried to be more like the man from whom we have the word “Christian”?   I think it’d be pretty amazing… don’t you?

Yesterday I brought a Chocolate Cream Pie to the Queer Resource Center at SOU to thank the people who helped to bring Jennifer Knapp to our area… and to recognize them for all they do to make the university a welcoming place to all students.

You may say that I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one.   I hope someday you’ll join us,  And the world will live as one.   John Lennon

 

Day 280: Happy Birthday Christian!

11 Jan

Apple Blueberry Crumb Crust Pie

It seems to me that much of my day revolves around food.  Of course for the last nine months I have been making a pie each day, but that is only one of the many ways that I find myself focused in the kitchen.  There are days when I am busy making a pot of soup or a casserole for a friend in need, while other times I find myself testing gluten-free recipes for my neighbor.  If it has to do with food, I seem to lose myself in it.  With all that focus on cooking and baking, that means that I also spend a lot of time shopping – and one of my favorite stores in Ashland is Shop ‘n Kart.

Here is one reason for my loyalty: A few years ago I was on the board of the Ashland Schools Foundation.  One of my tasks was to secure donations from restaurants and grocery stores and then prepare meals for the volunteers that helped on fundraising calling nights.  The very first person I approached was Eric, the manager at Shop ‘n Kart and he generously donated $100 in store credit to the cause.  That was such a help for us and I have never forgotten it.

Another reason for my loyalty has to do with the employees that work there.  Maybe it’s because they see me often, but I enjoy the nod of recognition and their willingness to help me when I need assistance.   I am grateful that they don’t seem put out or avoid eye contact when my “questioning” face appears.

Christian is one of the employees that I have really come to appreciate.  He has helped me with special requests a few times,  he has a calmness about him that is admirable even when the store is slammed,  but more than anything I like that he takes the time to speak with each customer and look them in the eye.  That’s so very important in a world that gets busier every day.

Today I brought Christian the Apple Blueberry Pie that you see above.  When I gave it to him he seemed genuinely pleased.  As I told him about the pie project he said he was happy to be a part of this year of pies.  Then he told me that yesterday was his birthday…  and so of course I wished him a Happy Birthday.  And now I would like to offer this quote from Jonathan Swift,  “May you live all the days of your life.”

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.   Abraham Lincoln

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