I am deeply conflicted by the news coverage about the Pope's meeting with Kim Davis. I am also deeply troubled by the way that many of my friends have responded to this news. I have witnessed vitriol and even some hatred.
I have seen a great deal of anti-Catholic sentiment and statements that portray an entire church as evil. This troubles me deeply. I believe most of these reactions are coming from a place of hurt, of pain, of frustration, and of brokenness. Maybe it’s even coming from a sense of betrayal.
All these emotions are very real and they deserve to be acknowledged and held.
I am queer. I am a Christian. I am a seminary student. I have been hurt by Christian communities, both very directly (I was excommunicated by my tradition because of my identity) and more broadly by the bigotry that has been perpetuated and perpetrated in society at large by many Christian traditions.
AND I believe that I must struggle to find a way and a path to wholeness that allows me to be gracious, and even loving to those that I disagree with or that hurt me. I don't have to stay in those abusive places—I must leave. I don't have to keep quiet—I must speak out. I don't have to watch others suffer—I must reach out a helping hand.
But always and only in love and with a firm belief that the grace of God extends to every single person.
EVERY single person. The grace of God extends to Kim Davis. The grace of God extends to the Pope when he makes good decisions and bad. And the grace of God extends to me when I lash out in anger and when I fail to love.
That's the thing about grace (the wonderful and perfect thing about grace) I don't get to say who gets it and neither does anyone else. So if I want Kim Davis and those like her to understand that the grace of God extends to every single person—if I want Kim Davis to hear that witness—then the best thing I can do is model what that looks like. The Pope asked for our prayers many times on his visit.
So I will lift up a prayer for Pope Francis who is saying so many wonderful and important things.
I will lift up a prayer for the "one holy and catholic church,” and for the Roman Catholic Church and all the faithful LGBTQ people who are part of that body. And I will lift up a prayer for Kim Davis.
Will you join me?
Photo via flickr user michael_swan