Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Botherly Love

I have a friend, a sweet young man, who recently came out as a gay man. He is beautiful inside and out. Kind, generous, loving. The type of person that ends every conversation with "I love you" regardless of how long it's been since he last saw you. Growing up, he had one older brother that he absolutely idolized. This weekend, that brother told him that he was "lost" and that he was going to hell for being gay. Needless to say, this lovely young man was devastated.

I truly do not understand people. I do not pretend to be a religious person...I am definitely not. However, I am a believer. I grew up being taught that God is love...pure and simple. God is love. God is there in the simple acts of kindness we see around us. God is there in the cry of a newborn baby. In the last breath of an old woman surrounded by her family and loved ones. God is there in the whisper of the wind and the color of the first spring flowers. God is there in the laughter of a child. And God most definitely is there in the love felt between brothers.

How then can someone intentionally hurt another person in the name of God? How can a brother turn on another brother? To hear this young man tell me what was said...to hear the hurt behind his words... broke my heart. What gives his brother, or any of us for that matter, the right to judge another person? Who are we to say who is going to heaven or hell? Our job on this planet is to love and be loved. Sure...life gets in the way...things get hectic....we all have moments where we lash out, say or do something we regret, act unbecomingly. We are humans after all. We are awkward, clumsy, imperfect beings. However, in the end, our ultimate goal is to love and be loved, however that manifests itself throughout our lives.

If God is love and our purpose on Earth is to love and be loved, then I would venture to say that the person who would be headed to hell is the one who intentionally hurts another person in the name of God, right? Then again, I am just a human being....struggling to survive this life. I have no idea...nor do I have any right to guess...who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. I will leave that task to God. I only know that my friend has a beautiful soul that is apparent to anyone and everyone he touches. I truly believe that God would not have created that beautiful soul without meaning and purpose. Gay people are not accidents or aberrations. Being gay is only a tiny fragment of what makes us who we are. We feel the same joy, love, anger, frustration, fear, anticipation, pride, and sadness as every straight person out there. We're all the same, really. You would think that a brother, of all people, would know that.


Anonymous said...

Well said Shannon. I always hate to hear anyone use God's name in a message of hate. Ignorance and hate can cause hurt. Family is suppose to be there to support you, not judge. Coming from a very judgemental family I know the hurt that words can bring. I just pray that his other family will support him and help him thru this very hard time. I know there is nothing worst than being shut out by your brothers and sisters.
God Bless

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