I am, for better or for worse, on perma-hold with my anger and frustration at the vote that occured last week on gay civil rights in Florida, California, Arizona and Arkansas. And as I process my feelings, read my scripture, get inspired and cared for by psalms, there's one clear message for me: it may feel like Good Friday....but the promise of Easter is always there. I just need to allow for it to happen.
I want resurrection of my soul, and a restoring of justice to the world. And that's why I'm channeling my energy toward raising a ruckus on Saturday. One big ol' temper tantrum. One long, hard cry for mercy. One more chance to release myself from the bitter taste this has left in my mouth. Truth is, the acuteness of the pain is wearing off. Now I'm just aware of how wrong it is to allow a majority to vote on an amendment that has profound and far-reaching language to oppress a minority.
Again, I am reminded of the story of the Syrophoenician woman in Mark's gospel where Jesus initially refuses to help a woman of "other" status when she asks him to use his gifts to heal her daughter. His immediate response is to tell her his gifts were meant for the children of Israel, and not the dogs. And her reaction was to go all New Jersey on him and remind him that it is the dogs who eat the crumbs under the table of Israel's children. And Jesus does a 180, praises her for her faith, and sends her home to her healed daughter.
One interpretation of this could be that Jesus was testing this woman's faith with his reluctance to help her. But, as one who so often sees the world through my eyes as an "other", I think of this as a moment where the human Jesus is schooled into understanding that the gifts belong to the many, and not just "the chosen". Imagine if the apostles had never taken the good news anywhere but within the temples? What if Paul hadn't had his moment of "seeing the light" as it were, and becoming a man on a mission to bring the message of God as expressed through Jesus to the Gentiles?
I'm asking now for those who think that marriage should be for "one man and one woman only" to consider what the benefit is to society to keep this "gift" to themselves. How have you really helped children, especially the foster children of Arkansas, to be raised in a loving household? Do you really believe that marriages of convenience or appearance or default are helping to strengthen the "institution of marriage" and keep it "sanctified"? To paraphrase MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann, "What are you thinking?!"
Again, when I consider the road ahead for me and my queer brothers and sisters, I know that we have a difficult path to walk. But I look to the prophets of the Old Testament, and I look to Christ, and I know that while many have faced huge obstacles, they leaned on their faith, pushed on through, and kept going. And just like Moses, just like Christ, just like Paul, just like Philip....there is also the hope that when us "others" start showing up, and saying, "Me, too!", the reward does come, and God's will is done...on earth as it is heaven.