How Marriage Equality Is The Answer To Our Prayers

You know the old joke about praying for God’s help? The one where the man in a storm waits atop his roof while flood waters rise, having prayed for God’s help for deliverance? Meanwhile, his neighbor drives off, a boat passes by and even a rescue helicopter hovers overhead.

All of which the man refuses because he is waiting for God’s miracle.

After the poor sod drowns, he asks God “Why didn’t you save me?” To which God replied, “I sent you a truck, a boat and a helicopter. What more could I possibly do?”

I think of this modern parable often when it comes to LGBT issues in the church.

For all the debating, squirming and strategic positioning that happens as clergy and denominations prayerfully search for to find ways to be or not to be openly affirming, I have a hard time going on much further.

For me, the answer to these prayers is pretty simple.

For anyone who has ever sincerely prayed about “what to do” about the “LGBTQ issue,” I find myself thinking: God sent thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender AND a questioning people of faith to your doorstep. What more do you need?

How many more faithful will come to you for your care, asking for your protection and fellowship, before you realize that God has answered your prayers about what to do next?

Perhaps the miracle in the waiting is for the church to actually recognize and accept God’s gift—the gift of loving, serving and helping prosper people as they come.

I can think of no better miracle than when we actually accomplish loving our neighbor.

I realize that the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality isn’t going to be a cure-all covering for clergy. The laws of many denominations are still very clear in limiting, if not out-right condemning LGBTQ people. In some denominations, these restrictions will keep clergy from blessing the weddings they could be blessing. Still, one has to sincerely consider if marriage equality isn’t yet another answer to prayer.

It may be worth noting the deep, spiritual longing that marriage has maintained itself in representing after all these decades. That even when civil unions were made available to many, having the legal access and means still failed to satisfy what is ultimately a sacred expression of life-long commitment to one’s partner.

Despite the protests of our more conservative Christian peers, our appeal for same-sex marriage is not with a lack of respect to the sanctity of marriage, but quite the opposite.

For many LGBTQ people of faith, it is with immense respect and understanding of the sacredness of marriage that we ask for witnesses to seal the blessing.

If, as clergy, you have ever prayed: “What am I supposed to do with my LGBTQ neighbor?” and you now see this, a boat floating by in what feels like a rising tide…Maybe it’s time to actually jump in?

Comments (4)

This article is spot-on. Refreshingly optimistic from all we've sifted through this week. My prayer is that this loving attitude may be embraced by the massas, soon and very soon. Thank you!

Amen! In the mid to late 90s, I saw you in concert when you were a fledgling singer-songwriter in Lawrence! Then I lost track of you, as I left town and left evangelicalism over this (and a few other) issues and stopped listening to Christian music. Thank you for your courage to speak out about your story and I pray that more evangelicals will begin to listen.

As my own Mennonite denomination voted in at our convention this week to basically not come to a decision on this yet again, and to not revisit again it for another four years(!!!!) breaking a lot of hearts including my lesbian daughter's and bisexual teenage son's, and my husband's and my own. Your point that we have been given this gift, this answer to the question already is just so poignant to me today. I will share it with our Pink Mennos.

Hallelujah. The United States is so terribly conservative on some things but now is joining the civilized world in its attitude towards equal marriage. There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come. Now if only you could do something about your crazy gun culture. Here in New Zealand and in Australia the ordinary members of the police do not need to be armed because guns are not freely available among the public. The rest of the world stands open-mouthed in astonishment at the way guns in the USA kill many people, including children and even -- on occasion -- your presidents.

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