…continued from Part 1.
FAITH IN ACTION
“I am sorry for how Christians have treated you.”
I was originally meant to be officially marching with Christians at Pride but I decided that watching was more my thing this time round. And I am glad. I am glad because I got to watch the Christians at Pride group. I got to watch people’s reactions, from within the group and from those watching. I got to step back and see how loving a community I am in; Christian and LGBT. I got to see signs like this one full of honesty and love. I got to see the crowds applaud as they walked by. I got to feel what it is like to be proud of these people, and realise how fortunate I am to be a part of that. I got to stand back and just be. Just be me. At the sidelines watching, watching yet feeling so a part of this moment.
I am so so sorry for how Christians have treated people; whether that is because of their sexuality, gender or any other part of who they naturally are. I wish the past and the present were different and that nobody had been hurt by Christians by their words and actions, and often by those words and actions that are not said and done also. It is one thing to say horrible things, it is one thing to say nothing at all, but it is another thing entirely not to say anything when someone needs support. I wish for the future that nobody else gets hurt, but unfortunately I know that will not be any day soon.
I have met so many people in my life, and particularly in the past 18 months or so, who have this idea that the church is not accepting of them because of who they are. That hurts. That hurts as a Christian who loves them for who they are. But I get it. I entirely get it. The church is not always a welcoming, safe place. The church is not always loving and supportive. The church is not always the place I wish it to be. The church is an institution. The church hasn’t always been welcoming, safe, loving and supportive to me. However, that doesn’t mean that kind of church doesn’t exist. That church does exist, and it exists because people who are welcoming, safe, loving and supportive exist within the church. The church is a group of people, of Christians. There are more and more churches now standing up for the minorities and they need to shout louder than those who don’t. They need to stand strong in what they believe and be seen. They need to share the truth that our God is a loving God. Not only loving to people like them. Loving to everyone. And as followers of Christ, Christians need to be as loving as God. Those Christians do exist, and London Pride was a stark reminder to me of how much louder we need to be about that. We need to share God’s love more and more and more each day, until people outside of the church see how serious we are about it. More serious than those who have hurt people for being who they are.
Stand tall, speak out, say sorry, send love and be love. Journey together.