easy

My news feed lately has been more political than usual.
I get most of my news from Facebook or John Stewart so I rarely feel like I can jump in.
But there is too much in the last week to ignore.
Confederate flags coming down.
Rainbow flags going up.
And for the most part, people supporting those decisions.

Four or five summers ago I got an email from a friend in Peru who had just had her heart broken. By a girl. And I think wanted me to make it hurt just a little bit less.
Sometimes I have good words. But this day, my words only made the wound so much worse.
Her heart ached from rejection, but more than that.
She thought that maybe this was god’s punishment. That she would never get to have her heart stitched back together because maybe something inside her was wrong.
She asked me flat out if she would ever be able to get married.
And the question was less about the law that banned it, but her faith that often made people avert their gaze when she took her place in the pew next to them.

It is one thing to feel rejected and heartbroken by someone you love.
I have experienced that.
It physically hurts and makes you not want to get out of bed or shower or listen to anything but terrible love songs. But I can’t imagine the ache that she was feeling because it was so much bigger than the damage one person can do to your heart. I knew she wanted me to say that of course God wanted her to get married…but more importantly that she was not wrong. Or broken. And that like my favorite Psalm says that she was "perfectly and wonderfully made". 
Instead I crafted what I thought was a beautiful response on heart brake and threw in a few Air Supply references that I am sure she didn’t get because she is younger and cooler than me.

She didn’t respond. For a week. 
And when she did she was not encouraged, she was pissed. 
I had told her that this was her issue and her fight and that I had plenty of my own issues to sort through. 
Pretty much in those exact words.
Words that I wish I could take back. That I thought had been spoken in love, but were really spoken in fear. I was afraid of condoning what I wasn’t sure of. Of wrestling along with someone else.  She eventually responded and said “if people like me were not going to stand up for her, who would?”
I guess I was hoping that someone wiser or braver would do it.

Her hurt taught me something.
You can not love someone fully if you are not willing to stand up for them.

There is fear in fighting for people who aren’t like you.
There is fear in being mistaken for the other.
I am not nearly as wise or brave as I would like to be, but I have heard that “perfect love drives out fear”.

A few years ago I briefly changed my profile picture to a red equal sign and I hated that I hesitated before doing it. That I worried what other people were going to think or say or judge. (and they did).
Me with my husband, 2 kids and a dog.
Me with all my health benefits and I only get funny looks at PTA meetings because my shirt is on inside out.
Me with clean water, more food than I can eat and white skin.
Me with all me easy and advantage and fear.

A few months ago I emailed some of my friends. Friends whose toast I gave at their wedding….(which is now finally legal!)…and I asked, what can a busy straight girl do to love your family better…because I am starting to think that my faith calls me to do that…not the other way around.

Her answers were surprising.
She didn’t ask me to put a rainbow sticker on my car or march in a parade with her.
She said things like let your kids play with my kids, talk to families like mine at church or school events. Especially if no one else is. Actually, I’ll use her words because they are better than mine, “Make sure your kids know that there are all kinds of people and families in the world - girls who like boys, boys who like boys, girls who like girls, families with a mom and dad, with two moms, two dads, (two moms and a step-mom...lol), etc. Ask them what they think about that, if they know any families like that, etc., just keep TALKING to them and don't be afraid of it. If you're not afraid of the subject then they won't be either.”
That’s it.
That is all she wanted.
That I could "do something just by being a safe and open person to talk to.”

Sometimes we make it hard.
But it isn’t.

Love it turns out is pretty easy.


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