Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Come to Me

There is a lot of pain and suffering going on in the world, and even in my tiny corner of it—none of it to me personally—but I suffer just the same. One example, a friend and former co-worker recently lost his mother, who died unexpectedly, and just as unexpectedly, he inherited a very large sum of money. Just as unexpectedly, his wife disappeared one day with nearly all the money, abandoning her husband, her kids, her grandkids (my friend was her second husband, and had no kids with her). Simply, disappeared, and later he found out that she ran away to join a man whom she met on the internet, and is now at the opposite end of the country, her exact whereabouts still unknown. I grieve for my friend on many levels. He is not a Christian. Pain is pain, and the unexpected, even the impossible, happens to us just the same.

I happened to read an article in an online version of the local newspaper, celebrating that lesbian couples can live anywhere openly in the town I work in, which is supposedly the sixth most gay friendly city in America. So much for the statistics. But what is really going on here? What is happening in the lives of the two women featured in the article that has placed them in the ‘category’ they are in? And who placed them there? These are all important questions, but everyone would rather ask and answer the questions that please them, not those that would dig deeply into their reality. They themselves, do they ask the real questions? Or do they ask, and answer, the questions that society around them has taught them to parrot? I left the following words as a comment to the news story, something I rarely do.

It's pretty pointless to talk to anyone on the topic of 'rights' for homosexuals, whether they are for them or against them, because nearly everyone who has given it any attention (I am not saying 'thought', which isn't the same thing) has already made up their mind.

This is simply a difficult situation we find ourselves in, because even to homosexuals (or to those who prefer others of the same sex, for whatever reason) it's obvious that biologically we are made to fit man-woman not any other way, regardless of religious teachings.

But even to Christians (I am one, Greek Orthodox) it is obvious that there can be man-man, woman-woman love relationships, and that many of them are far stronger and even more selfless than the man-woman relationships.

The answer is neither to deny and even blaspheme God, nor to denigrate and demonise human beings. Those who do the former, as well as those who do the latter, will both have to answer for it before the judgment seat.

Social change will always give preference to one or another class, viewpoint, religion or race. In my office I am dismissed as an idiot because I am a Christian and politically conservative, because people tend to categorise rather than really investigate.

Why is this? Because investigate means to invest oneself in something, and that takes commitment. It's easier to categorise (from the Greek word meaning 'to accuse') because you can do that, and then go your way, oblivious of the other person's reality.

Whether a person is Christian or not, straight or not, white or not—or reverse all the terms—to me there is no alternative but to investigate, to listen, to observe, to encourage the good, the right, the just, the true, in dealing with others.

Nothing can be done wholesale, in bulk. People appear one at a time, and disappear the same. We have usually only one chance to know a person, and to leave our mark on them, either way, if we are Christians, we must ask, 'Lord, when did we see You...?'

Agreement or disagreement, approval or disapproval, love or hate, all these things are still external, and we still stand, at every moment, at the threshold of our own death and ultimate judgment. 'Seek peace, pursue it,' say the scriptures. Do what you see Jesus doing.

That is the easy yoke, and the burden light, but we still have to do what He says,
'Come to Me.'

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