Monday, July 02, 2012

A Different Kind of Pride

By Belinda... 

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 ...


Theresa said... about grace.

Susan said...

I wish I'd thought of being the one standing out in the hot sun holding that sign...

David said...

To Dave:

This is how many, many of us who happen to have a different view of sexuality feel, especially those of us who understand the modern history of the issue of sexuality in the church, and ESPECIALLY the young people of my generation. It is a mistake to assume that because someone may not be properly convinced to full-out agree with and celebrate what you stand for that they do not truly love you or that they do not acknowledge that the church has done tremendous wrong. SO many of us are grateful that there were people at the corner of Yonge and Carlton that expressed what we truly feel, and not the message that is constantly seen in the media, and I can only apologize all the more for our passivity in allowing that abominable message to be spoken for us. Mostly, I am grateful that there is at least one man who understands, who reacted well to the message. That was MY emotional bombshell. :)

Belinda said...

David, thank you for your input here. So much appreciated.