It seems rather fitting that I type this on the evening of Easter Sunday. There is something quite timely with the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus, and a heart filled with hope for a healing reconciliation between the body of Christ and those who have been pushed to the fringe places.
Today is coming out day!
As I write this I am thinking about all the people who are sharing with their family member or close friends that they are not heterosexual. Who are facing their fears, pent up anxieties and quite possibly their worst imaginings that are and maybe aren’t actually happening.
I have come back to this draft a number of times over the course of today. And now Coming Out Day is over. But you know what? Sometimes a pause before hitting publish isn’t a bad thing. Because sometimes its better to wait and speak to a couple more people before you put it all out there for (potentially) the world to read.
Some time ago I wrote a post called Compassion. You might like to check it out as it relates very specifically to what I am about to say, and the questions I want you to spend some serious time thinking about. Obviously I do not need to hear your musings or answers, but if you want to share, then please feel free! So here goes..
Today I was visiting a friend with my 5 year old. Its a farm, with chickens roaming around, laying magnificent eggs of the truly free ranging variety. We wandered through them as we made our way to the lamb that is being bottle fed. My daughter panicked. Screamed. Called out to me to carry her, because the chickens “are going to peck me mum!” The fear she had was real. My calm voice tried to speak truth to her fears. I asked her if she had ever been pecked by a chicken before (no, she hasn’t), and why she thought the chicken would peck her, when she had never been pecked by a chicken before? The fear was so great in her, but the lesson was equally for me. I held her…
I picked up my phone to get words off my heart onto the page.
They went something like this…
I cry tonight as the words weigh heavy. The words cut deep and leave me feeling as though I stand as one. All alone. With no others close and understanding my heart.
I picked up my phone and its message light flashed. I read and I smile. Oh there are others. Who understand and cry along with me. Who take the flack directed at ‘me’ and make it ‘ours’. It begins.
I don’t cry alone. The carers. The bleeding hearts. The names that people hurl as though they are some kind of insult. But they aren’t you know. They aren’t.
There are multitudes of people. So much like you. So much like me. Except they suffer far greater than we could possibly imagine. Our lives are peaceful in comparison. You and I. We have so much. So much stuff that seems meaningless. Unnecessary. Truly surplus to requirements. And yet it seems our default posture is to grab and snatch and hold on tight and strive for more… like the toddler who is still learning to share. Have we not learned yet? Will we ever?
Because tonight they cry out. Have we a space to share? Any my bleeding heart replies “YES”!
If Jesus walked this well worn path…
If Jesus was right here…
If Jesus knew our hearts and minds…
Would he be cheering us on?
As we throw compassion onto an altar.
An altar of self preservation?
An altar of fear?
Today I was putting a pony tail in my young daughter’s hair. She is a beautiful little miss who is almost always very patient as you brush her hair and put in whatever decoration and design she has asked for. This morning was no different. As I brushed the inevitable dreads that form in her hair overnight we chatted. She is full of questions, like most 3 year olds, and its hard not to grin at some of the thoughts she shares. “Mummy can you make my hair sparkle?”, “Can you put a twist (aka plait, braid, or ponytail) in please?”, “Mummy is it almost finished?”, “Mummy I love it!” as she races off to look in the mirror. And she dances!
Simple moments of joy, and thankfulness can be found almost anywhere can’t they?
As I slowly brushed out the tangles of her hair I was struck with a very simple truth. Even though it may take more time than we prefer, the sorting out of the tangles in our lives will come as we allow God to do what is needed. That its in the patience and obedience of putting ourselves into God’s hands to do what is needed, that messy can become something worth dancing over..
The last few days have been filled with lots of emotion as people all over the globe grieve the senseless killing of 50+ people in a gay nightclub. Coupled with those deaths have been far too many truly uncompassionate reactions. And that is what they are. Reactions. And a decided lack of compassion for a hurting, grieving people who are afraid. Could it be me next? My friend? My child? My….. I can’t even imagine. My heart is broken for all those involved, and all those who love someone who is…