In order to clearly show my heart on the matter of homosexuality, I would like to write this post specifically to pinkagendist, Daniel Postlewaite, and John the Aussie. It is my hope that you will see that I don’t rank any sins that people grapple with above others…sin is sin, yet that isn’t what God is interested in. Yes, sin is evil. But He could have rid the world of all sin by just destroying all of it, and us with it. It is God’s love for us that is important, and was the reason He sent His son to die. To restore us back to our God, and to free us from the chains that sin places us in.
When my kids were in high school, my stepdaughter Brenda (not her real name) showed up in the middle of the
night with her high school aged brother and sister. We lived in Tulsa, and Brenda, Cole and Charity were all from central Texas. I hadn’t heard from Brenda in years, knowing that she had gotten pretty heavy into drugs and was learning some pretty hard lessons in life. It had been even longer since I’d seen Cole and Charity, who were the children of Brenda’s mother from a different father.
Brenda was beside herself, tumbling out this horrific story about the abuse and neglect that Cole and Charity had been suffering at numerous relatives hands. I explained to her that I couldn’t harbor run-aways but she was inconsolable, and I told her I would figure out what to do in the morning. Going to bed, I was freaked out. I couldn’t return them to being abused, but I didn’t know how much trouble I would be in for them being at my house. I prayed, hoping God would give me an answer by morning.
The next morning, Brenda was gone. Some time in the night she had split, leaving the two teenagers behind. After discussing options with the two teens, I finally called their father, who informed me that he didn’t want them back. “Just keep them,” were his careless words. What a winner.
Both of them had dropped out of school in the 7th grade, and it had been years since they had gone to school. And without the proper paperwork, I wasn’t going to be able to get them enrolled in school. Add to that fact was that they were both in terrible health. Their mom had abused drugs consistently when they were in vitro, and both had been born addicted to meth, cocaine, and other substances. Their immune systems were trashed. Cole’s bones were brittle, and a spill on a skateboard that should have been nothing left him with a broken arm. The whole experience made me furious at their parents.
But even worse than their physical health was the emotional scars that were devastatingly familiar to me. Ask any child who has been molested, and we will tell you..we recognize each other..Both of them had been severely molested, and I spent a lot of time listening to these children as they cried for their childhood that had been lost to them. Trust, stability, and security had been annihilated for them. Especially Cole, who I could already tell, was so hurt and obviously leaning more toward the homosexuality that he’d been introduced to at such a young age. I spent more time listening and comforting, and less preaching…God wasn’t interested in me getting Cole to not be a homosexual. He was interested in me showing Cole that there was someone who cared about him, no matter what, and I never once addressed his sins with him. It wasn’t the time. God didn’t just want Cole to stop sinning..God wanted to love Cole, and the sins were secondary and could be addressed later in his life. What mattered was Cole, not what he was doing.
About three months later, the father decided he did want them back after all, and he drove to Tulsa to pick them up. They both cried, not wanting to leave, but the law was with their parents, and I had to reluctantly give them back. My whole family cried, including Chef, because they had come to belong with us.
Years later, while on a run with one of the most notoriously badass motorcycle clubs in the world, Chef and some of the other bikers he was travelling with stopped at a diner one night, and Cole was there working. Cole, obviously a homosexual that had come out, was so excited to see Chef, and Chef, equally excited to see him, gave him a big hug and introduced him to all the grizzled bikers he was with, as his and my son. And those bikers treated Cole respectfully and kindly, even though homosexuality is not embraced in the 1%er biker culture. There were no judgments, no sneering, no anything, but respect. He was part of our family, and no one had better have a thing to say about him…Because we love Cole as a whole person. He isn’t a poster boy for homosexuality…he’s a full, three dimensional hurting boy who needed us to love him no matter what. And we do just that.
If Cole were to suddenly show up on my doorstep wanting to know about God, my first words and actions would have absolutely nothing to do with his homosexuality. His sins aren’t what I, or God, would care about first. I would only show him every single verse in the bible that talks about how much God loves him. I would show him how God wants to heal the broken parts of his heart, and how we can trust God when there doesn’t seem to be another person in the world we can count on. There would be plenty for me, and for God, to show Cole before any of his sins would need to be addressed.
Christianity isn’t about a bunch of rules to me. It is about a relationship that heals and restores us to what we should have been before sin was introduced to the world. Yes, sins need to be addressed, but that really is between Jesus and his child.
Knowing what my past did to me, and what Cole and Charity’s pasts did to them, I’m loathe to rant and rail about how much someone else is struggling with. Instead, I tend to assume that there is a very real, painful reason that this sin is so hard for them, and I can pray about them getting the healing they need…
I hope this story shows that my heart isn’t against any one, no matter what they are struggling with. I judge NO ONE by what sins they struggle with…