this is no longer my blog

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


tuesdays with Marky

There is this older woman in the congregation who has been persistent in inviting me to Tuesday morning breakfasts with the Lutheran Men in Mission in our congregation. Her husband passed away sometime within the past couple of years, but when he was alive he was a regular member of these bi-monthly breakfast meetings. The men would meet and eat at one table, and their spouses would come and meet and eat at another. After her husband's death she kept coming, enjoying the company, friendship and support of her regular breakfast partners.
For some reason or another, I had been unable to attend. There might have been some reluctance on my part, because they do meet at 7am, but there were also conferences and things that have gotten in the way. Well, this past weekend I made the decision that I would go this time. So after church I asked her if she was going to the breakfast this week and she said yes, so I asked her for a ride. The restaurant is a little ways out of town behind some other buildings. I had already attempted to find it myself and that had proved unsuccessful. So she arrived at my house at 6:45 this morning. The sun had not even risen yet. It was still dark. I am not a fan of being out and about before the sun rises. To me if the sun isn't up, then it isn't morning and I should still be in bed...
Well, anyway, at breakfast this morning God proved that God has a sense of humor. There are quite a few older gentlemen that usually show up. Supervising-pastor has come often and he had given me a list of people that normally show up, quite a few nice older gentlemen from the congregation. So we get to the restaurant, we walk in the door, and who do I see? Just the man who came to our sexuality study at church that I've written about several times. He sat alone at a table and his wife sat a few tables away. So I sat with "Tom" (that was his name in the past posts. I'm striving for some continuity). I was a little hesitant, mainly because I've not agreed with him in the past and thought that this might be the longest breakfast I've ever had. Well, Tom and I chatted about all sorts of things. Seems the wife he was with at the restaurant is his second wife. His first passed away in the 70's, he has three sons, had been in the airforce for 5 years, helped start a mission congregation in Texas... aside from thinking several of my friends are unGodly, he seemed like a very nice and faithful man... And that got me thinking, both sides of this argument of homosexuality are trying to demonize the other. On one hand we have a group of people saying that homosexuality is an abomination, "those people" are living lives contrary to the Gospel, they are living lives of sin and therefore we should not recognize their immoral unions, nor should we even think about ordaining/commisioning/consecrating them. On the other hand we have a group of people saying that "those people" are close-minded bigots, or hate-mongers who are standing in the way of authentic Gospel-minded ministry. It's almost like the presidential election, each side slinging mud at the other. And while, in the past, I've tended to lean strongly to one side, meeting Tom and getting to know Tom and engaging in conversation with him, has really made it hard for me to look at him as a member of the other(dark)side. And although we didn't directly talk about the issue of homosexuality, we were able to come to the table and talk about a lot of other things, and I saw how faithful this man really is. And I think that's what we need to do in the midst of this argument... We need to look at the otherside and see them not as an argument or a stance on an issue, but see them as people. They are people who, just like us, have experienced love and pain, anger and happiness, joy and sorrow... Although we may not agree with them on certain particularities they are still beloved children of God. And by seeing them through that lense, rather then a lense of anger and resentment, perhaps we can "kill them with kindness" as they say, and they'll be led to look at others through a kinder, softer, more loving lense as well.
And when that's accomplished, I'd like to buy the world a Coke and teach them to sing in perfect harmony...

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