Thursday, October 11, 2012

An acceptable sinner

In support of my friends on National Coming Out Day...may you feel God's love and acceptance on the journey, and find many allies along the way.  Count me as one.

I thank God that I'm an "acceptable" sinner.  My life is pretty easy.  I can sit in the pew and not risk condemnation.  I can preach, and be relatively sure that people aren't judging my lifestyle (or even investigating it too closely).  I'm considered a good person and not many people question that.

I thank God that losing your temper isn't preached on that often.  I yell way more than I intend to.  I may be calm and patient to those with whom I work and serve, but unfortunately my family bears the brunt of my impatience and frustration.

I thank God that judging others isn't looked down upon.  In fact, we Christians do pretty well at that and remain pretty smug in how we help God decide who is right and who is wrong (and I mean this on both sides of the political and social spectrum).

I thank God that struggling for perfection is highly lauded in our society and culture, even though I get the nagging sense that God would frown in disapproval over the time I spend worrying how my actions will be perceived by others instead of wondering What Would Jesus Do.

I thank God that I was born a heterosexual.  It's so much easier this way.  I don't have to struggle with my identity or worry how I will be received in society.  I don't have to fear losing my job or be denied benefits just for whom I choose to love.  I don't have to argue for my choices with people who don't even know me or my background.  I don't have to worry, as a Christian, whether I will deny my heart and live a celibate life, or deny God's word and "live in sin."  I don't have to worry about being a poster child for an issue that is deeply political and religious and personal.

Thank God I can be me, with my only worries and stresses being those I bring on myself.

Dear God, help those who have real and daily struggles, with identity, with inclusion, with faith, and with finding their place in such a polarized and hateful world.  May God's love shine upon them.  May that light shine through me.

(and Dear God, help this to be received with all the love I intend, even as it is a little tongue in cheek.  Help me to be brave to stand up for those I love and support even when I know not all will agree. )

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