Lead With Love

heart-love-ocean-wavesWhen I was in Bible college, there was a song that was popular called You’re the Only Jesus. The idea is that you might be the only Christian a non-Christian will ever encounter and because of that you bear a responsibility. And hopefully, that responsibilty, will affect the way you treat everyone with whom you interact.

Last Friday, I posted a blog stemming from something a childhood friend posted on Facebook. A lot of people read it and many people commented, both here on easilycrestfallen.com, on Facebook and in private messages. Several conjectured what Sarah would say or think if she saw the blog. I wondered about it myself. I wondered if maybe I had shared too much of her personal story. I wondered if I had overreacted to her original post. I want you to know that she did send me a message a couple days ago, apologizing for hurting my feelings and telling me she had a struggle with self-righteousness. If you know me, you know I have my own struggle with self-righteousness, just bring up the subject of people running stop signs and I can rant for an hour. I was moved by her response and I must say, she really did not have to respond at all.

Last week, when I was with my cousins in Vegas, one of my cousins was talking about religion. She was talking about Christians and how hypocritical some of them are and she brought up my parents and said, “But your parents, your parents are true Christians.” I agreed, because I feel in all their interactions, they always lead with love, whether it be with other family members, or co-workers, or church friends. And as a person who has known them for 45 years, I can tell you that’s how they’ve always treated me. When I came out to them over 20 years ago, it was not easy for them, in fact, it broke their hearts, but the first thing they did was remind me that their love for me was unchangeable.

In Friday’s post, I talked about how some friends say I should unfriend the people who post anti-gay things on FB. I said that the reason I stay is because I like hearing about their lives. I think that’s definitely part of it, but there is more. I sometimes wonder if I might be the only gay person, or one of the only gay people, some of these friends might know. Here in LA, I am surrounded by gays, you can’t even turn a corner without bumping into someone who claims to be “Cher’s Biggest Fan,” but I know that other parts of the country are a little different.

I was humbled by Sarah’s response to me, because though I try to lead with love, I often fail. Actually, I fail a lot. It seems I’m often saying or writing something petty or snide or sarcastic, both on the page and in person. What I need to remember, try harder at remembering, is that even though I am no longer that Bible college student, the things I learned at home and church and college, still apply. 1 John 4:7 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” There aren’t any qualifiers in that Scripture about whether or not the lovers or lovees are straight or gay or something in between. The command is simple and pure: Love.