Coach and I were out tonight talking about things, and as our conversations tend to do, we wandered from football, to work, to weight loss, and finally, somehow to homosexuality. I know I am spectacularly behind the times, but I'm still processing the whole Chik-fil-a incident from the summer.
Though it's not really behind the times; just not particularly socially relevant right now because there isn't a run on chicken nuggets or homosexual fodder.
I feel like this is a good time to remind you that I teach high school. Teenagers take a looooooong time to process social issues; especially when justice is involved. It's a thing they do.
And I want to be careful not to make God small here, because that's where I think the Evangelical Right gets it all wrong and fifteen-year-olds get it all right.
God is big enough not to be any more offended by homosexual sin than He is offended by prideful sin or angry sin or adulterous sin or jealous sin or any other kind of sin.
He is big enough to see the whole picture, and only He can objectively and benevolently judge the state of a person's heart. He does not have issues with transgressional economic policy.
So I don't worry much about my thoughts on this, because at the end of the day it's God handling the big decisions about righteousness, and sin, and eternity- not me.
Keep that in mind. Regardless of my opinion or yours- God still decides. I'm good with that.
Frankly, it takes me an inordinate amount of time to make salad dressing choices each day; eternity is NOT an area that can benefit from my input.
However, what I know about the character of Jesus is that if given the chance, He would have been right in the middle of the sinners and their sins. He wouldn't have been offended by their behavior, their fashion, or the inflection of their voices. Only He is able to discern genuineness in the hearts of man. We can't do that. If we could, prom would have been a bit less stressful.
I also know that my tendency to be judgmental has done more damage to my family than any homosexual EVER could. I have harbored thoughts in my mind and emotions in my heart that would blister the soul of the devil himself.
I am not without sin.
I have not earned the right to sit at God's right hand and judge another. My opinion does NOT matter.
My heart does.
Jesus hung out with sinners- prostitutes, thieves, tax collectors, adulterers, and murderers. Those were the people with whom He spent many of His days, the people He loved, the people He changed.
The people HE transformed.
And we like transformed lives. If we didn't, we wouldn't constantly try to transform our own.
Y'all- it's mid-January. Hundreds of thousands of people are just about ready to give up on their weight loss and fitness resolutions for 2013 in a fog of carbs and self-deprecation.
We don't aspire to be morbidly obese and imprisoned by our fat and self-loathing.
Yet statistics show that at least half of the country is exactly that.
We've drowned ourselves in our own pleasure and weaknesses.
Because Lord knows that in times of weakness, the buffalo chicken wing wields an uncanny power over the human psyche. And don't even get me started on chocolate.
No one serious about weight-loss asks a life-long skinny person how to get skinny. Career skinnies can't help those of us who have to fight the fluff.
We ask the people who have been transformed; those that were obese, out of shape, and on their way to death until they weren't. We want to know what it was that got our formerly fat friends out of their bondage; what was the catalyst that made them turn around and find the path to skinny?
Skinny people don't sell weight-loss programs. Formerly fat people sell weight-loss programs.
Self-righteous people don't sell eternity. Formerly lost people sell eternity.
And frankly? I prefer to hang with the lost and formerly lost. They have cool scars, and I'm a sucker for a really good transformation story.
The stories of my life are recorded in my scars. The shiny, taut, perfect parts? They are fading away as quickly as the years are fading. Honestly, just yesterday I think I heard pores exploding and skin wrinkling.
If I am afforded a long life, the shiny, glittery, perfect parts will be nothing more than myth. All that will be left are the scars and wrinkles of the years on this earth, and with every scar I will have the choice to tell the story of loss or the story of healing.
I so want my life to be a legacy of healing and restoration. I want the memories of me to be fond- not pitiful.
So my mission is simple. Tell others that because of Jesus I am changed- not perfect, but transformed.
Because He loved, I am loved.
Because He died, I don't have to.
And the love I have is the EXACT SAME LOVE that everyone else has.
Do we all get into Heaven?
Not all of us will be in Heaven. But let me ask you this-
Have you met the person that said, "I'm not going to Heaven?"
I haven't. We all think we're on the bus to the pearly gates because we're good people.
And we're not. The Bible is very clear about that. God is just, and He enforces justice according to his plans, His economy, His ways. And we aren't equipped to understand those ways.
I don't know who makes the heavenly cut and who doesn't. AND. NEITHER. DO. YOU.
God doesn't count anyone out for a shot at eternal life until toes are in the grave. If He withholds judgement until the very last heart beat, then we should too.
So what do I know? I am responsible for two things.
First, to love Him with all my heart and all my soul.
Second, to love my neighbor as I love myself. Even the loud ones that don't march to the same drummer. And the ones who like cats.
No exceptions. No rules. No laws. No preconceived notions.
Even if it kills me.