Three days ago, there was a decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States of America that caused varying degrees mostly of joy, but also of distress. I’ve seen social media “trends” before, but never have I ever seen every single person, on and off of a computer, talking about exactly the same thing all at the same time, all over the world. Friends in the United States, Australia, Canada, and all over Europe were talking about a decision to make homosexual marriages legal across all 50 states.
I have friends from almost everywhere on the spectrum (no pun intended), from openly and unashamedly gay, to the most conservative person you’ve ever met. Watching the reactions, I found many people, specifically from the conservative side of things, demanding that we “take sides” or “take a stand.” These comments came in all forms, from comments about standing more firmly in one’s own beliefs, to demanding that others do the same. I saw only one comment that said anything about “continuing to shine a light.” What I saw was others demanding that I, a 20-something evangelical Christian, take a side. As if a war had just been declared on everything sacred and holy, on everything that I know to be true, without even considering that this war has existed since before the Garden of Eden. One judicial decision did not “declare” it any more than the opposite decision could have ended it.
When I am told to take a side, I do not hear “Stand firm in your beliefs.” I hear myself being told to alienate people that I love and hold close to my heart.
I do not want to take a side, if that is what it means. I do not want to stand on one shore, shouting across an ocean of hurt and hate. I do not want to load up the magazine of my vocabulary and open fire. I want to walk across war zones, cross no-man’s land, not with loaded weapons but with open arms stretched out, because He first stretched out His arms for me so that his bloody arms could embrace my wickedness and make it pure.
I want to love people where they are, for who and what they are. If I am to have any fault, I would rather have it be that I loved too much, too deeply, too hard, rather than not enough or not at all. Love is not a god, but my God is Love. When you start saying “love is love” you remove the Creator of love from the equation. But you do the same when you choose hiding and firing harsh words, over stepping out of the boat onto the raging waters, stretching out your hand, and meeting the people there with the same Life Raft that you climbed onto when you were drowning. When you choose harsh words and distance over the pain of sacrificing your pride, you also remove true Love from the equation.
If love is indeed existent outside of man’s definition of it, if it was truly created by God and not by men, if love is patient, kind, gentle, not envious or boisterous, or angry, then you are not sacrificing your definition of love, nor is it being dirtied and sullied when you choose to meet people where they are and love them. Not for who they could be, not for what they should be, but for who they are right this second. You lose nothing. Nothing is compromised except our own pride and the need to be correct.
And if the Truth is unchangeable and unfailing, then you lose nothing by choosing to love. You lose nothing by walking into the lions’ den with full courage and faith. Love does indeed win. Love won thousands of years ago on the cross, and it is still winning today, right now. So step out from behind your walls.