- People are either closed-minded religious bigots and fear mongers and think she is a hero or…
- People think Caitlyn is a sinner and going to hell.
As I dive into the heart of this post, I am quite aware that I’m going to use he/she/they in incorrect ways. Sorry about that! I’m not worried about that so much since this is a new conversation table I’m joining. I also don’t worry that I’ll lose my relationship with Jesus…so I’m sitting pretty saying, “Let’s just talk about it why don’t we?”
With viral bloggers tossing remarks back and forth like they’re participating in a game of hot potato, I decided to jump in and chuck that potato sack as far as I can throw it. I’ll admit, the transgender topic is something I’ve personally struggled to understand. I worked with a transgender woman years back and I’ve been trying to grasp the entirety of it all.
I’ve watched the Diane Sawyer interview and I cried through it because the Bruce Jenner in that interview seemed sad in his current reality. I don’t like it when other’s are sad. Sad sucks and I was acutely aware that Caitlyn has a story she needs others to hear.
A story with a struggle most of us will never understand.
So when I don’t understand someone’s story, what are my choices? I’ve been thinking about this long before the media-hype of Caitlyn Jenner and I’ve only come to one conclusive yet open-ended answer. It rings back and forth as I continue to pursue my questions about the transgender community.
Above all else…they shall know us by our love.
Cool Lisa, yeah, we’ve heard that before at Christian camp, church services and our community groups. But we think of the word love as an adjective. It spices up the conversation and sounds super nice. Yet in the same breath we’re not using love in it’s fullest form. What we’re really what we’re saying is:
“Okay, yeah I’ll love, but it’s still a sin
They’re a sinner, but I’ll love them. (How gracious of us…)
“Oh…they’re that way? Well, guess we just gotta love em. But I don’t agree with them. Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
We dust off our hands and walk away feeling good about claiming love full of ‘buts.’ Zero action items or accountability.
When we talk about how much we hate “sin” what if that person is the “sin?” Meaning, Caitlyn’s choice to go from Bruce to Caitlyn would be a sin to many, so in turn we’re saying she (her identity) is the sin. Well, hmmmm. I don’t think that’s right at all.
Next steps anyone? Think more. Listen harder. Love freely. Pray through.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. – 1 Corinthians 13:1
Meaning for me, if I want a seat at the discussion table, I gotta sit back and shut up long enough to listen. Then I can ask questions. I still might not understand. That’s okay. But here’s the clincher:
Just because I don’t understand someone, doesn’t mean I am exempt from loving them.
What’s that mean…if I love someone, does our love qualify the actions of another?
I think I’ll ask Jesus that question one day. “Hey Jesus, did your love qualify the choices in my life?” He’ll probably do a face-palm (at least that’s how I view Jesus responding to me half the time).
“No, he says. That’s not what love is meant to do.”
Love stands in authority over all things and says, “You are mine. You are loved. You are known.” Christ’s love is so perfect and freedom giving, it shook people’s very understanding of what love was and spun the foundation of their beliefs on it’s head.
The goal of love isn’t to prove something or someone is sin, it’s to trump it.
Having said all this, I’m going to err on the side of asking more questions and then listening. I’m going to trust that the Holy Spirit will interceded in the times I cannot understand. I’m going to trust him to love in ways I might not know how to love when it comes to the transgender community. I’m going to love as much as I can and when I run out and get confused and fear creeps in, I’m going to ask my God for more love.
This is how I can love better right now. The basic acknowledgment that I am not capable of loving perfectly and recognizing I am asked to pursue that, I will strive towards accountable love, even when I do not understand.
I don’t have perfect love figured out for myself, much less someone else’s life.
At the end of the day does it matter if I agree with Caitlyn? Not really. I’m sure there are lots of times we don’t understand other’s lifestyle choices, parenting choices, cultural choices. And yet we seem to hold relationships quite well. The questions are coming though. I feel them. “How will you explain it to your kids?” “How will you accept these people in your church?”
All great questions for sure. I’ll let you in on the secret answers I hold.
Nope. Got nothin’. I haven’t figured those parts out yet.
Never fear, it’s all going to be okay. Once again, I will go back to the Lord that knows my soul best about how to best love others. Thru that pursuit I will ask to know His love until it overflows for each person I think I “can’t” love because of who they are, how they’re hurt, or what I don’t understand. We’ve all got those people in our lives.
The ones we can’t forgive. The ones we can’t love. The ones we fear.
What I don’t understand I will most often times fear, but if I can grasp onto perfect love, I will fear nothing.