I received an email from a reader yesterday, with the following note:
“I know all you know about me is that I randomly emailed you one day, but I wrote something that was on my heart today and haven’t been sure how/where/if to share it with a wider audience. Your blog came to mind and I wanted to send to you. You don’t have to publish this or share in any way, but if it does resonate with you or others you know, please feel free to share.
The state of NC voted on a constitutional amendment today and I’ve seen/heard/read many negative and outrageous comments from “Christians” today that caused me to write a few words down in response.”
Blessings to you.
Amy Wolfe [name used with permission]
And attached to the email was this Open Letter to the GLQBT community. It touched me deeply, and felt it needed to be shared — particularly so now that Amendment One (Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage) passed in NC. sighhhhhh…
This letter, my dear readers, is what compassion looks like (and, from my Mennonite(ish) Lesbian perspective, what compassion FEELS like).
An Open Letter to the GLQBT community on this day, May 8, 2012, when Amendment One votes were placed in regards to the NC Constitution Amendment.
On behalf of the Christian community I want to say a few words to the GLQBT community:
I am so sorry for the many ways you have experienced God, through us, as a hateful group of judging, condemning and self-righteous people.
I am sorry for the times that God has been misrepresented to you because of our actions.
I am wounded at the thought of the rejection you have felt and saddened by the way it may have affected you.
I want to say sorry for the nights you’ve been unable to sleep because you were scared to share your life and experiences with us.
I’m sorry that you have been hurt by bigotry and intolerance in the name of a loving and just God.
I’m deeply saddened that we have failed to extend the love and mercy that God has so graciously given to us.
I apologize for the ignorance that we have portrayed because we didn’t care enough to learn more.
I am regretful of the many times we could have worked together, yet chose to work against you instead.
I apologize for the times we passed you on the street and didn’t take the time to get to know who you are and what you’re about.
I’m sorry for the times we have made assumptions about you instead of creating new friendships.
I regret that we have failed to build bridges between your community and ours.
When we saw you on vacation with your family and whispered to our children to stay away from yours, I’m sorry for that too.
When you applied for a job and a Christian didn’t hire you on the basis of sexual orientation, I’m sorry for that too.
When you wanted to adopt a child who needed a home and we made that difficult, I’m sorry that you experienced that.
When you couldn’t visit your partner in the hospital, I’m sorry that we took that from you.
When you weren’t the first to be notified of your partner’s accident, I apologize for the pain you felt.
When we could speak openly and freely about our families, yet you didn’t feel the same freedom – I’m very sorry that we didn’t care enough to ask about your family.
When you were afraid that people would destroy your career if they knew about your sexual orientation, I’m sorry for the fear we placed in your life.
But mostly, I’m sorry for every way that we as a community of people have misrepresented a loving God to you.
Borrowing from a movie I recently watched, Blue Like Jazz, I want to say that “God is not like us and we are not like him.”
To Amy, and to each of you who has the courage to respond to our shared humanity rather than our (seemingly) glaring differences, I say thank you and offer this thought:
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott (from “Traveling Mercies”)
May grace join us all where we are and leave us in that place Rumi describes as “beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing.”
Related posts: The Anatomy of Love series