Safe Sects: Love the EVERYONE

*I shared this on Facebook originally but wanted to put it here where it won't get lost or buried. And I added a bit to it.*

I haven't said anything about some of the hot-button issues lately (Caitlyn, McKinney). I have been watching and reading and pulling my hair out--cringing, and feeling sick at *some* of the things that people who look like me and label themselves like I do (white, heterosexual married, christ-follower) have been saying about and to their fellow human beings.

I have been wondering if/how to even inject my voice into this maelstrom OF SHOUTING and "them versus us." But it's not really my jam to outsmart or argue (I lack the intelligence and the patience of Jesse) or to even be "on a side."

So here's the best I can come up with:

I feel like my job, my calling, and my heart as a Jesus-follower is to be a safe person for YOU. If you're a transgender decathlete, a white cop, a black teenager, a right-wing conservative, a Buddhist, a nerd, Sammy Sosa, a vegan, my BFF, or WHATEVER. Please hear:

I want everyone who crosses my path to always feel safe with me. Your story, your pain, your "stuff," who you are---> I'm not interested in changing, minimizing, calling out or arguing against any of it. 

My #1 only "strategy" for how I--a clueless dummy--can best show you my Jesus, is for you to feel safe and heard--never rejected or judged. I'm probably going to mess it up, but I aspire to be that first and foremost. I think that being a safe haven for my neighbors speaks so much louder and is much more effective than trying to convince them of my ways or their shortcomings ever could be.

I have been zapped, whammied, blasted, and stomped by people wielding Jesus as a shame weapon and it SUCKS. If that has been your experience, I want to apologize and tell you that I don't think that is an accurate picture of Him in the slightest. 

I wasn't able to put any kind of articulate, biblical and personal thoughts together about these things in the past few weeks (mostly I was just all "OHHHH THE ANGST OF MEEEEE") until my friend shared a blog post originally written in 2013. It helped put words to my response to the hoopla and the hate. It was my, "YES! THIS IS IT!" moment.

The writer, Beth Woolsey, speaks my heart and my Jesus-reasoning on this topic better than anything I have read so far and it's a message I hope comes across from me PLEASE read it if you A: like to point out sin in others (me!) or B: have ever had your stuff called out by a Christian whose advice you weren't asking for (me too!) or C: are human (also me): 3 Reasons I Quit Loving the Sinner and Hating the Sin.  

When it's no longer my agenda to identify your sins (and put them in your "THINGS I MUST HATE ABOUT YOU" file), I have a lot more time and energy to spend actually hearing and understanding you. I have heard so many Christians say, "I was so sure that X group of people were wrong/awful, until I found out my son/brother/friend was one." The relationship can often be more powerful than issue--but only if I don't use the issue as relational TNT to obliterate any chance of a relationship and Christlike love ever developing. 

Safety first. 

Safety Officer.

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