lenten journal: something to say


I’ve sat here longer than usual tonight staring at the empty page, not because I don’t have ideas but because I’ve been trying to figure out what is best to say. Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve read my share of blog posts and editorials and the like talking about what the Supreme Court Justices asked and said today as they listened to arguments over the case involving California’s Proposition 8. Tomorrow they will hear arguments related to the Defense of Marriage Act.

It’s not that I have trouble knowing where I stand, or taking a stand. I wore my red Chuck Taylors to work today and joinIMG_1419ed in the avalanche of Facebook friends who posted red flags as their profile pictures. I’m a strong GLBT ally and I want to see equal marriage become the law. But that’s not news.

My guess is most everyone who wrote on either side of the issue today was repeating themselves, however. I didn’t read one article or post that began, “I’ve changed my mind” or “I’ve never said this before.” Most all of them seem written as though they are trying to convince those who disagree with them. I came close to doing the same thing — and then I changed my mind because I keep wondering what I most need to say. I could write an open letter to Justice Roberts or try to answer one of the big conservative bloggers or try to combat the vitriol that gets erroneously labeled as Christian, but I’m not sure that would do much but contribute a little more to the shouting and shoving already going on.

The more I sat here, the more I thought about a conversation I had today with one of my coworkers who is lesbian. I senbacon for allt her a picture I found on Facebook of the HRC red flag with bacon stripes titled, “Equality and Bacon for All.” We had a good laugh and then I said, “Whatever happens when the decisions come down, remember love wins. We win.”

And she said, “I really never believed we would get to this day in my lifetime. Really.”

She didn’t even hold out the hope that we would have the discussion, much less that we choose to take another step in our maturing as humans to love one another equally. She thought she would live her whole life being treated as less than a person and yet she chooses to be one of the most loving, determined, and compassionate people I know. As the straight white Christian male — that’s four for four, if you’re counting dominant groups — I have never had to deal with a day in my life where I faced what she lives with everyday. And she is not alone.

So here’s what I want to say: I’m with her.

She inspires me, as do the veritable army of gay and lesbian people who have loved me and shaped my life down through the years from my days as a youth minister to my time as a hospital chaplain and a high school teacher to those who helped me in the darkest days of my depression to church members and coffee buddies and coworkers and on members of our chosen family and folks here in our city who have loved us and given us room to begin to grow roots here.

I’m with them.

No, let me say it a different way so it doesn’t sound like one of those conversations where you talk about someone in the third person even though they’re sitting right there.

I’m with you. I love you. Thank you.

That’s the best I have to offer.



  1. I am still at the place that my lgbt (I always mix up the letters or get them in the wrong order) family members and friends know I love them, walk with them, and would fight for them. My place of need is the ability to explain to those friends who disagree with me exactly where I stand and why, doing so in a manner that will not be antagonistic and will be as gracious as my words can be.

  2. Like I say most times I say anything in response to you, Milton: of COURSE! That’s (almost) *exactly* what I was going to say! …. Seriously, though: of COURSE!

  3. Right there with you, Anita. That is why I wrote what I did rather than adding to the treatises and defenses. Maybe speaking in love will open the door for some of the conversations you are hoping for.


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