Last week was Pride week in Toronto and on Sunday, our friend Dave sent this email to a few of us who share his faith in Christ. I cried as I read it. What happened reminded me of a passage in Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller when he wrote about the action he took one weekend with some friends on the campus of Reed College. If you have read the book, you'll get the connection. Here's what Dave wrote:
I hope you all don't mind...but it seems important to me to tell you about what happened at today's Pride parade. As always, there is a real spirit of fun and frolic - we were there with sprOUT which is a group for lgbt people with intellectual disabilities that Vita partly sponsors.
It is always gratifying to see people with physical and intellectual disabilities so very 'out' in public. I was enjoying the parade mostly by watching those I was marching with. Ruby filled up a super soaker at least five times and had a great time shooting water at the crowd, all who cheered whenever she sent the water flying.
I wasn't expecting to be hit by an emotional bombshell but I was. At the corner of Carlton and Yonge a small group of people were gathered around a huge fabric sign. It looked like the words had been painted, carefully, on a white sheet. I read the words and actually stopped as they sank in. I'm afraid I won't get it exactly right, but here's the wording as I remember it - We apologize for the times when we, as Christians, acted out of hate not love.
I get all teary even writing that to you.
I felt like I'd been sucker punched.
The wind went out of me.
There wasn't time for me to react to thier message. I just smiled and waved. They smiled back. It was only the briefest of contacts, but Jesus was there. I know it.
Jesus loves me this I know ...