Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Unfathomable Love

Yesterday, I wrote about Christ in the context of the Supreme Court's ruling regarding gay marriage in America. And I promised that today, I would share what I personally think about the issue. So here goes:

Like most Christians, when I started to understand how widespread homosexuality was becoming in my world, I had...thoughts. I had feelings. I had opinions. I have friends, and yes, continue to have these friends, who grew up in church, who go to church now, who even serve the church, who are homosexuals. For the longest time, I had trouble understanding that. How can you represent God in this world if you keep on sinning right out in the open like that?

Pot, meet kettle. 

And some of these friends, as well as non-Christian homosexual friends, would argue with me that homosexuality is not a choice, that they were made this way. And I couldn't understand, for the longest time, why God would make someone a certain way and then expressly prohibit that way of being in His Word. God despises homosexuality; it is an assault on His plan for man. Why would He make my friends only to despise them? That doesn't sound like God.

The truth is, the science is just not there yet. One day, it may be. I don't think it matters. What I know now about the whole issue, at least, what I think I understand now, it doesn't matter whether homosexuality is a gene or a choice. It doesn't change the way I'm called to love people. (And the whole issue of inborn imperfect traits is another story for another day. I know because I just tried to expound on that briefly and found that I can't. It's very complicated. Ask any parent whose child is not what they expected.)

So I was stuck in this place where I realized that sin is sin and that no sin is greater than any other, so it wasn't right any more for me to judge my homosexual brothers and sisters. And I wasn't concerned any more whether it was by birth or by choice that they are the way they are. But I have to say that I still really didn't know what to do with homosexuality, or the people I cared about. 

Now, I have a lot of philosophical differences with the pride "movement." The politics of the whole thing really bother me. Politics, as a general rule, tend to lose sight of people very quickly. And the politics of the LGBT movement have lost sight of people - on both sides of the issue. They've lost sight of themselves, and they've lost sight of us, and it's very frustrating. The truth is, I may always have problems with the politics of it all. 

But politics aren't people. Remember that.

Okay, so here it is. Some time ago, after a court ruling striking down Indiana's attempts to legally define marriage as between one man and one woman, making homosexual marriage no longer illegal in the state of Indiana, I was taking a walk. That very day. And that walk took me by the courthouse that day, where two men were exercising their new-found freedom to marry, right there on the lawn. I didn't stop, but I had ample time to observe what was happening. They were holding hands, swaying back and forth with each other, looking around at their loved ones. And just as I turned the corner, they kissed. 

They kissed right in front of me. 

And immediately, I wondered what they thought they knew about love. I wondered what it was that they saw in one another that told them this was love. Before I could even finish the thought, I wondered what it was that any of us think we know about love. In less than a blink of an eye, because one man kissed another man right in front of me, I understood how broken our human love is. I understood that our best is not even a flicker of God's least. 

I think more than any other thing - more than power, more than wisdom, more than righteousness, or even being 'right' - I think love is the thing we spend our whole lives trying to comprehend, trying to understand, trying to experience, and it's nothing - nothing - compared to the love of God. We just don't even come close. We just can't even come close. 

I know because there are these brief fleeting moments in my life where I actually feel the love of God, and it's overwhelming. My hope is that you know that, too. 

Maybe we come close in our closest relationships, but we're never close enough. The one you love brings you flowers, and it's beautiful. But the One who loves you painted the sunrise this morning, just for you. The one you love holds you close, but the One who loves you hold you in the palm of His hand. The one you love lets you cry on his shoulder, but the One who loves you collects your tears. There's just no comparison.

I've been known to say that you just can't hate a broken man; you can't hold his brokenness against him. Not in a fallen world like this one. And that holds true here, too. A lot of Christians look at homosexuality and think that's such a perverted love. And it is. But perverted is only a synonym for broken, and we are all broken. (And we have so many better things to do with our lives than hate.)

At that moment, everything I ever thought about homosexuality, all the eloquent waxing I had ever done, all the philosophical battling I'd ever undertaken, all the time I'd spent talking to God in an attempt to understand, it all faded. I found I could do nothing but grieve over our broken love - all our broken love; gay, straight, broken love - and I was stilled in awe at Love Itself. We think we're supposed to teach God's Word to a broken world, and we are, but more often than that, this broken world teaches us God's Word.

I'm still grieving. Homosexuality makes me grieve. It makes me grieve because I look at men and women engaged in the lifestyle who are missing God's best for them, His original plan of what makes a man or a woman most complete here. But I grieve, too, because in so many ways, by my own sin, I am missing God's best for me. Maybe not in the context of marriage, but in so many ways.

And I grieve because this longing inside me for True Love aches, and I recognize how short our best attempts fall. I realize that in our fallen world, it's not you or me that's most broken. It's Love. It's.... And I long for the day when Love wins.

Because Love does win. I promise you that. He promises you that.

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