I can't find a way to make this funny, or poignant, or profound. I can't make a connection or tie a string to bring it all around again. On Monday, I was impressed and hopeful. On Tuesday, I was sad and incredulous. And then Wednesday...I don't even know. It was just so painful.
All I know to do is tell you how I feel. Some of you won't know what it's like to be in the minority. Some of you won't know what it's like to be LGBT. Or what it's like to follow God down this road instead of that road, and then those who used to look at you that way now look at you this way. You won't know how any of that feels. But I do retain enough faith in humanity to believe that if I talk about how I feel, maybe you will see some of your experience in this small piece of my experience and, my God, maybe you can let yourself be connected to me for a fleeting moment.
I feel this massive hollowness in my chest -- like you could walk up and knock on my sternum and it would just echo. It's been there since Wednesday afternoon's news. My eyes are watery, and I catch myself staring off into the distance during normal conversation, my mind a total blank. My sister sent me the kindest text message at 8:23 PM on Wednesday that immediately brought a stream of tears and a labored sigh and my head in my hands as I was reminded that I am still connected to someone. That I am still a person, at least to her.
I want to say...when you hold thousands of hungry children hostage, I guess anyone of good conscience will give in to you.
Or I want to say...if you're going to take a stand, then please count the fucking cost before you do it.
But these statements are not fully authentic. They are honest, but they aren't completely from my integrity. They are also from my hurt and my desire not to feel that hurt. So I'm not going to explore these sentiments; I'm just throwing stuff off and I know I need to stay with my integrity.
I was reminded by my sister that I am still a person. And immediately this text message called forth another memory, of myself lying on that same sister's couch about a year ago on a too long and too lonely Saturday afternoon when she walked over to me and said, "You look cold," and covered me with a blanket...and how that simple act helped me feel a little less lonely and a little more cared for.
And then I pondered what type of person would stand and hold her blanket instead of covering someone who is cold...and not even because the cold person is gay, but because the person who supplies the blankets may or may not be gay. Or, may or may not have answered a phone call from someone who may or may not be gay. Or, what-the-hell-ever.
I've thought about it a lot, and all I can come up with is that this person is afraid. She doesn't want to touch a blanket that a gay person has touched. She doesn't want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a gay person to care for someone less fortunate because you only stand shoulder-to-shoulder with equals, and well...that would just be sending the wrong message, wouldn't it?
What she stands against is more important to her than what she stands for.
Brothers and sisters, I am grieving today. It is my most authentic response to the events of the past week. And if you want to grieve with me, I will hold space for you. And to that fourteen year old kid whose parents had a strained conversation over dinner Monday night about canceling their World Vision sponsorship which suddenly made you lose your appetite because, oh my God, what if they knew about me?, then I want you to know that you are, without a doubt, so beautiful and
you are fearfully and wonderfully made and
you are not alone.
You're not. I am here, and so many others, and we are all on this journey with you. I'm probably going to be sad for a few more days, but I'm going to hang in there. And I want you to hang in there, too.