Friday, June 13, 2014

"that third way is love, we're going to love you"

Because I have not been posting much lately, it is without hesitation that I post a second time today. What I am posting is the film The Third Way. The run time for the film, without credits, is about 35:50. If nothing else, it gives us the opportunity to hear from several men and women who are homosexual. For me, this reinforced the need to listen and to love without judgment. The Church needs to be a place where we can all come, just as we are and be accepted. God will heal and change what needs healing and changing, our job is to love and to let ourselves be loved (the latter is not as easy as it sounds, at least not for me). If Christians refuse to love like Jesus loves, then who will do it?

It's important to note that the women and men who share their experiences in this film do not reflect the experiences of all men and women who are homosexual. But by sharing they give us the great privilege of listening to their stories. Regardless of sexual dispositions, or pre-dispositions, or whatever, our greatest need, as human beings, is to be loved. This goes to the core of our being, to the imago dei we all bear; we're made from Love and we're made to love. But to experience being loved, we have to see ourselves as lovable (again, not as easy as it sounds). We're not so different. I'll be so bold as to assert what for Christians ought to be commonplace- we're all disordered in some way, probably in some very "deep" way.

Another place I would draw to attention is Sarah and Lindsey's blog A Queer Calling: Reflections on the experiences of a celibate, LGBT, Christian couple. I can't begin to express how grateful I am to them for sharing their views and insights.

UPDATE: To my mind something like this film is merely a starting point, a way of helping a lot of us get over our fear of the other. One can't just watch this short movie and say, "Okay, now I get it," and leave it there. This is true for no other reason than, as I mentioned already, the experiences so generously shared by those featured in the film are not comprehensive. Like any human issue, while grasping some generalities may help, everyone's experience is different. It's safe to say that many homosexual men and women, like Joey in the film, live well-adjusted lives in committed relationships and without the self-destructive behaviors of drug and alcohol abuse. Heaven knows there are plenty of traumatized heterosexual people who engage in self-destructive behaviors and whose relationships are toxic as a result.

In a letter he wrote to Dorothy Day, Pater Tom (Merton) noted
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can
What renders us worthy is the imago dei of which we are all bearers. The divine image, in which each human being is lovingly created, is ineradicable. To use the quote by N.T. Wright, which appears in my masthead at the top of my blog: Amor, ergo sum: I am loved, therefore I am.

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