Grace can certainly show up in a conversation. It does help when one is especially good at the “art of conversation”. The art of questioning that allows for thoughts to be shared and lives to be changed.
Once a person asked me why I was reading the book I was reading. It was a great conversation and one that I wasn’t so sure I was ready to answer. The book in question is “Leather-bound Terrorism”. Just the word terrorism alone is a bit frightening and extreme. In reality the topic is just that – although I am not sure I have always been ready to admit that.
Leather-bound Terrorism is a book in a long line of other books that I have read that have opened up my world to the plight of the LGBTQ community. A community of people who have in so many ways been excluded from the church of today. Quite honestly until last summer I did not even consider this topic. I had my limited opinions on the gay topic.
I would have been in the category of:
love the person – wonder if their choices are okay with Jesus and suspect it wasn’t good
Then this category showed up:
love the person – question why I have more of God’s favor than him (her)
Then this category:
love the person – hope the person loves me – start a conversation
That conversation began and a long list of books, podcasts, sermons, emails, text messages, facebook messages and a gathering of friends has taken place. Some realizations:
1 – when you know a gay person – all the previous rules get thrown out really quick if you have even one ounce of Jesus in your life
2 – gay men or women could have grown up in a church just like me
3 – gay men and women and transgender people too love Jesus
4 – when you know a parent of a gay person – all those rules really get thrown out because now you are talking about someone’s baby
5 – the interpretations of scripture are fluid and there are other thoughts than how you might have grown up
6 – it is not about me
7 – Love is most important
What is the definition of love? We must answer that because honestly that is where much of this turns “south”.
In order to have graceful conversations start with using the Bible’s definition of love. Love is not self-seeking – it does not insist on its own way.
Why was I reading Leather-bound Terrorism?
My quest to learn was about me. I wanted to know why I believed what I believed so that I could put it all neatly in place in my head. Unfortunately spiritual things very seldom work out that way. It is almost the more you read, the more you search, the more gray it all becomes. However there is one aspect of the searching that never changes – and that is the call to Love.
In this quest to find out answers for myself I instead found Graceful Conversations with new friends – new people to my life. I found moms of gay children, I found gay men, I found gay women, I found gay teens, I found transgender friends, I found pastors who preach at progressive churches, I found authors, I found love.
After finding I have become:
An advocate for the LGBTQ community with Love as the only skin in the game.
Resources and a list of my journey endeavors will be coming soon. For now – feel free to reach out on Facebook & Instagram if you have questions and want a conversation on this Love thing.c
ccgroves (cheryl cannon groves) (facebook)