Archive for November 24th, 2009

Was Jesus Marching?

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

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I don’t hate haters. Friends have wondered if I hate people who are militant anti-abortion protesters, racists, or anti-gay activists. I don’t hate anyone. Hatred is ugly; it’s based in ignorance, fear, anger, and intolerance. Although every person has those emotions at times – civilized people do their best to control them. Why do I feel so strongly about this? J. and her daughter are one reason:

J. is a woman who’s had a life that’s “colorful”. She came from a broken home – in a small town – became a “dancer” in the city – and took a dive into a world of drugs and decadence. Today she’s beautiful at 45 – when she was 20, she was stunning. You don’t need a calculator to figure out that sex, drugs, money, and a beautiful woman are going to add up to trouble. J. was racing a Corvette-of-a-life towards an abyss-of-death. Until her daughter was born.

J. quickly gave up drugs, dancing, easy money, and dedicated her life to that child. She bought a small house so her daughter could have the security she never had growing up. She took a series of mundane jobs that were respectable – but paid about as much in a week as she used to snort up her nose in a night. It didn’t matter. Her child could honestly say ‘Mom is a 911 Operator’ instead of ‘Mom is a stripper’. J. had every middle class American dream for her daughter – especially the one about a beautiful bride in white, happily walking down the aisle, and giving her wonderful grandchildren.

But that dream exploded when her daughter told her she was gay. “Say what? Gay? GAY!?!”

Did J. immediately resign herself to that fact and accept her daughter’s sexual preference? Like hell – she was DEVASTATED. She cried and prayed and denied it and begged her daughter to seek “help” and prayed some more. She tried that sad route for YEARS! But in the end – it didn’t matter. Water is wet – the sky is blue – some people are gay. You can pound the ground all you want but in the end – it really doesn’t matter much – that’s just the way it is. Finally J. accepted what she could not change. To express her love and acceptance of her daughter, she agreed to march with her in a Gay Pride Parade.

“Franco,” she said, “I was shocked! We walked by a group of militant Christian activists who – pointed their fingers at us and started chanting ‘You’re going to hell! You’re going to hell!’. There was hate POURING out of their eyes and mouths!”

“I was overwhelmed! I felt angry and afraid and very protective of my daughter when she grabbed my arm in near-terror. And then a strange thing happened. I immediately calmed down and started saying, ‘I love you’ to the protesters. I don’t know why I did it. I just kept making eye contact with every one of those poor people and kept repeating, ‘I love you,’ ‘I love you.’ But that seemed to make them angrier still! We finally finished the parade and I knew those people brought my daughter and me even closer.”

When J. finished her story, I had a strange thought. I wondered what if Jesus walked in that Gay Pride Day parade and passed those protesters? Would He thank them? Would He be angry? Would He be embarrassed that some people use His name to hate? Does Jesus ever get embarrassed?

I told this story and my strange thought to a friend who’s a believer. She just shook her head and looked at me like I was an imbecile.

“He was there, Franco,” she said. “Why on earth do you think J. answered hate with love?”