The clicking of her high heeled shoes drew attention to a short skirt and low cut top she so arrogantly flaunted. I approached her and got a whiff of alcohol on her breath as she breathed out flames of disgust.
“This is a church, isn’t it?” the words slipped out of her smirking lips. A sly smile indicating mockery put me in defense. The nod of my head confirmed that she was in fact at the wrong place. Tension fogged up the room as people started to huddle around us. My thudding heart and sweaty palms preparing for battle.
She eased in slowly as if to test the waters. Small talk banter quickly ceased and then without hesitation she fired the first shot. Slurring words cut through the silence like a razor blade when she asked, “Where do you think gay people go when they die?”
It was the first time anyone ever asked me such an audacious question. I took a deep breath and prepared to fire a shot right back. Only looking into her empty eyes left me feeling the sting of her rapid fire. I was wounded.
Racing thoughts flooded my brain. Desperately searching for the answer that would satisfy my Christian conscience. You see, I know the Bible well and what it says but who am I to decide the fate of all the gays? So, I took a deep breath and uttered the only answer I felt to be true. “I am not God, who am I to decide where anyone goes?”
Choice words escaped her resentful undertone while making blanket accusations aimed at all Christians. Anger turned to a pain in a matter of seconds. The wound started to throb. Except for the wound I felt wasn’t from her at all. It was from whoever led her to believe that all Christians are full of hate. Led her to believe that having an opposing viewpoint meant intolerance. Led her to believe that being a Christian meant that we condemn.
To the Christians who hand out free tickets to hell. As though you are speaking truth. The God I know hasn’t given any human such boastful authority. I challenge you as a Christian to go back and reread the printed words. I urge you to be cautious in your presentation. Cautious of whom you are claiming to represent. Yes, stay true to your beliefs but they mean nothing without love.
To the LGBT community, I plead with you not to assume that we are all the same. Or that our disagreements equate to bigotry. I am capable of loving without sharing exact beliefs. I can be your friend without trying to change you.
Love to me is unconditional. Love to me is being able to tell my truth while having an open heart to listen to yours. Love means hurting because you feel pain and getting to know your story. I just ask that you please, don’t take away our rights to speak our minds.
I ask both parties to consider the humanity and to find similarities behind the passion we so desperately want the other side to understand. I ask that before trying to state our argument we first learn each other’s hearts. I promise both pump red.
Lastly, to the lesbian who cussed me out, let’s hang out.