A couple of weekends ago I had the absolute privilege to walk with my sister and the Dallas Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in the Dallas Pride parade. At first, I thought this would be way out of my comfort zone, but it ended up being such a fun day filled with a whole lot of love. Two things I’m always on the pursuit of!
I call it a privilege because of how separated and segregated we’ve made Christians and the LGBTQ+ community. I’ll be the first to admit that growing up I had an extremely close-minded point of view when it came to homosexuality and other “taboo” topics, but the older I’m getting the more I understand my own brokenness and how desperate I am in need of a Savior.
My friend and I were chatting about this and she quoted these words from a podcast that she was listening to earlier that week: I’ve spent my life running away and distancing myself from the people that Jesus spent His life chasing after.
Phew. My eyes instantly filled and chills were all over my arms because how sad and true is that for so many Christians?
I had this epiphany in college (at a private Christian university, mind you) that all of my friends were just like me. Fun-loving, Christ-pursuing girls. Which is great. I want to always be in community with people who push me towards the cross and force me to look in the mirror from time to time to face my shortcomings. But where is the balance in being in a Christ-centered community and also reaching the “lost and broken” that we hear so much about in church?
I put lost and broken in quotes because it’s not an us versus them world. Friends, I am the lost and broken too. Even on my best day, I need Jesus. So, why the distance? Why the space in these groups of people?
I didn’t get as much push back as I thought I would after posting about my participation in the parade, but one comment did stand out to me:
“I’m a little confused. I agree we shouldn’t never hate and spread a message of hate, absolutely, but attending the parade?? That I don’t get.”
I used to think this way, too. But one day I realized it’s not enough to NOT spread hate. We have to spread love also! There were people at the parade referring to the LGBTQ+ community as perverts and other words that I don’t feel comfortable repeating. The worst part? They were also mixing in scripture.
What if that was the only representation of Jesus that someone experienced that day? I’m sick to my stomach thinking about that because if that’s Christianity, then why would anyone want to be a part of that? I’ve been loving Jesus for over 20 years now and I don’t even want to be a part of that.
I was glad to be there loving on people who have been told they are less than and who have different rights than I do and because of their lifestyle choice. I’m not here for that. I’m not here for anyone who is here for that.
Yes, I went to the parade. I supported my sister and walked in it. I contemplated flying to Indy and walking in that parade as well. I don’t have to agree with the way you live your life. You don’t have to agree with the way I live my life, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to love you through this life for as long as you’ll let me.
My sister said it best, you are not immune to the LGBTQ+ community. We are sitting next to someone at church who is terrified to just be themselves because of hateful comments we’ve made. Our friends, cousins, and siblings hear the judgment that is whispered about them. Let’s make sure everyone around us knows that they are loved by God, yes, but also by us!
Pride month is halfway through, but I’m hopeful that we can continue to be intentional on letting everyone know that they are seen and loved no matter how they choose to live their lives. Unless I missed something, my only job is to love and His is to judge. So loving is exactly what I’ll be doing from here on.