bricks: final thoughts on An Open Letter

November 14, 2012

There’s no point. 

Before trying to sleep, I had said, “We’re not going to agree here are we, friends?” Where is our time better spent? I wondered that, too. So I hung up, if you can hang up on facebook, which is often a really good idea.

Here’s a platform not only for “keeping in touch”, but for constantly impulsively spouting off what we think. Rapid-fire! We are so much better off being quiet and waiting. Immediate gratification is over-rated.

I wrote Vikki (who happens to be a lesbian) a letter and she wrote back to me. We made it public in hope. We hoped. Well, we hoped to show what a loving conversation can look like.

But then that night, someone on facebook supported the letters and it started, as per usual. We were arguing about homosexuality for all the wrong reasons and am I the only one who can see that? What reason is there, really? No. REALLY. Don’t tell me you are arguing “in love” to “teach and correct and admonish” because I already know what you are going to say and so does Vikki and so does most everyone everywhere because you’ve been so quickly and easily dishing it out. If it’s not on FOX news it’s on facebook.

Yes. I’m talking to Christians. Evangelicals. Conservatives. Because you were the majority of the thread that kept me up, talking to God, saying I don’t understand. (yes, yes. I know not all Evangelical conservatives are the same. I get it. But it was right there in black and white and I’m so tired. I’m just so tired.)

One day we will certainly all fall apart at once and with faces to the ground in our messes we will have to cry over all that we did not see. Oh no, actually, I do not mean the state of the sinful awful world around us but the state of our own hearts and minds and how did we not see?

Chasing tails. Hamster wheels.

For now we argue because we have to be right, because if we’re not right, then we have to change. The hard work of change is not appealing. To see something even a little differently than yesterday, we have to have at least a small shift of heart and mind and that makes us uncomfortable and humans avoid discomfort like it is the wrath of an angry God. So instead we stay comfortable in our conditioned responses and label them Right because of the wrath of an angry God. He will come to judge us, we say. Look out.

But I don’t think He wants me to love Him because I’m cowering in the face of wrath and I know that He doesn’t send terrorists to blow up buildings or hurricanes or tornadoes because of homosexuals. And He doesn’t invite us to tea parties that feed into our better-than mentality, serving up pride and self-righteousness with a side of sugar to make it all look okay.

All I can do is think here. That’s a part of what blogs are for and even though I’m saying it here to you, it’s not that I’m saying I’m Right or perfect or all-knowing or the wisest. I am trying and striving and begging. To decide to stay open, like a lake, full of wonder: to keep open an invitation from my heart to a furious Love that is God, to transcend all my former, current and future understandings born of experience and feelings and striving and failing.  I am saying here I am with these thoughts and I don’t know everything or even anything and maybe later I’ll find out I was wrong. So be it. That will be for me to deal with in me, then. What right do I have to say THIS is the way to think?

This may feel like pointing fingers but maybe it’s time for me to finally say that I will not do it with you and that’s that.

You can think along with me, on facebook threads and in comments, sure. But it is not thinking along with me, to demand and correct and stomp. Picture us both walking in place, foreheads to a brick wall, pushing nowhere and not ever getting through because that’s a facebook thread battle and it’s what it looks like when you spout your opinions or even think so hard about everyone else and how they’re getting it wrong.

Please tell me, what are you changing? Who are you loving?
Update your status: It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!
Tweet! What’s next? Will we be able to marry our sisters or animals? LOL.
Comment box: I’m not being hateful, I’m just standing on the TRUTH. Being GAY IS A SIN!  

type type type faster faster hit enter! hard! *head to wall stomp stomp stomp* what’s that verse? the one that has something in it that fits what I’m saying? look it up! quick! type it in! type type type  *fists hit the wall over and over*

Log off.

Vikki said,

For most of my life, Christianity has been an ominous whisper, a voice that calls for my attention and startles me but when I turn around, I find no one is there. 

If you can read that and roll your eyes or remain numb, I’m sorry. I don’t mean that in any kind of hateful way at all. I really am sorry because it is so powerful. A mental picture that leaves me with chills. I get it, Vikki. That’s Religion and I’m not that and I’m going to be standing there when you turn around, not expecting a thing. Surprise.

Bricks need to fall in the face of her words. Boom! Truth fists cracking mortar and bending heads, up. Look up. Look up. Look up. Out of the comment box and the facebook threads and the opinionated tweets.

No wait.

Sit down. Just sit there and think on that. Take the hands off the keyboard where they hover with their ominous whispers, startling and then empty, void of any kind of real substance at all because no matter what the Truth is, if you are tearing it down as the go-between human carrier, your words might just maybe have become an empty stance. They might be born of this need to be right to stay comfortable. Just wait a second. At least one. It’s facebook! For Pete’s sake, as we say here in Minnesota, it’s freaking facebook!

There was a particular thread (as I’m sure you’d guessed) in which the focus completely left the heart of our letters and went back over and over again to something else. A simple and never-ending circular argument that sent me away grieved. Really? After all of that, all of the powerful truth spilling out of a woman in complete honesty, and all you can do is fight amongst yourselves about whether or not homosexuality is a sin?

Oh my…we are missing the point.

Sure. Go ahead, focus on sin, always, every Sunday and every morning and take a good hard look at it all around you and in you and never sway from staring there and you will stay behind that brick wall and I for one am choosing the tools I need to rage against it, not against you. Because a constant focus on sin sin sin is an Idol like any other.

It is division and judgment and never getting past this focus on sin sickness that is not working for anyone except for the reader of facebook arguments who gawks in agreement with the extreme remarks. Anyone with differing views? (Because ALERT the media, we’re all very different!) No, you’re not getting through to them with your slanted jabs. You’re just another zealot with no perspective outside your navel, that’s what it looks like even if it’s not true.

I wasn’t writing to Vikki and sharing it so we could carry on this way. Please.

Nor will I say hello to her and nice to meet you and guess what I believe? I’m a Christian and I need to correct you, Vikki, maybe you want to go to church with me, in love?  I mean, I realize you can’t even possibly feel comfortable in getting to know me in the first place, but hey, why don’t you just go ahead and jump on in to my belief system? Who needs a relationship or trust building or laughing over coffee? Let’s get down to it before it’s too late! 

No. Instead, we will laugh over coffee and witty little emails back and forth and we will work together and not one of your rants on facebook will make me want to “correct her in love”. This will not change. You can take me or leave me. You can keep walking into the wall or you can walk around it and quietly respect our differences as I do the same for you.

The only question people had for me, after all of my words, was, in essence a gawking curious one. This:

But Heather, are you saying homosexuality is not a sin? 

You are missing the point and I can’t help you with that. I don’t have any other ways to say it and so now I will be done. I will not argue. I will take deep breaths and love. I will sit down. Sit down. I will sit here and I will continue to be the Christian girl that I am and God will know how broken I really am and He will keep telling me, I know what you’re capable of….and I love you anyway. It is HIS end and I am His and I see a great grace in the face of all of this dissension and I am so grateful for how we all tie and so focusing on sin can only take you to one place and then you maybe want to move on…

around the wall, open arms and ears and eyes. quiet and sure and lovely while your fists and forehead lean in and people discover what love is through all that flows out and around you despite you.


Oh it says so much and I’m going to always read it to carry around the knowledge it brings me and look out, it might not look like yours. So take me or leave me, it’s okay. I’m okay. I’m sitting down in the quiet, now, with my all different kinds of friends that I love so much–the lesbian, the Jew, the conservative Christian, the athiest and the agnostic, etc….They are my people, with names and not labels.

{Sarah Bessey wrote a post in response to the letters and it’s important. I love how she does not speak Christianese, while she speaks unconditional love because that’s the end.}

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare via emailSubmit to StumbleUpon