Saturday, October 13, 2012

Because I have to say something...

I know I've talked about it before. I know I've talked about how I support Marriage Equality and how I'm still a Christian and all of that. I know you all know what I believe. I know a fair number of you agree... and a fair number disagree and question my faith, my beliefs, my acknowledgement of scripture. But I have to talk about it again because in just 23 days my fair state of Washington will vote to define marriage once again. And  as my community I owe it to you to be straight with you.

I grew up in the Church, but I've always known gay people. That might sound strange if you didn't grow up in the Church, but if you live in a relatively small town full of relatively Christian people, there is a relatively high chance you won't know anyone who is openly gay. But I did. I loved them anyways but was never really taught anything about homosexuality outside of Church.

In Church I learned that homosexuality was a sin. A big one. A dousy. Up there with murder and divorce and masterbastion. But we didn't talk about homosexuals. The people. The actual individuals who were gay. We only talked about the sin. Love the sinner hate the sin... and so I knew next to nothing about them. The gay people I knew weren't really gay to me. I didn't know them as gay people. I knew them as Gayle and Jake. Their homosexuality wasn't a thing we talked about. It wasn't a part of my relationship with them It wasn't a part of their identity for me. So I really didn't know about homosexuals.

For years through high school and early college I talked about this sin. I talked about how it was wrong. How homosexuality was a sign of the end times. How the devil was using it to sway people away from Jesus. How homosexuality led to orgies and pedophilia and HIV. How it was caused by molestation and absent fathers. I was ignorant. Blind and naive and ignorant.

Somewhere along the way in the midst of my degree in Theology, my world began to shift. I began to see sin differently as a whole. I began to understand that my relationship with God was not about me and my sins. It was no longer about getting to Heaven so that I could avoid Hell. It was no longer about defining how we sin and what sin is. It was about being with Jesus. All around. And in that shift, my desire to define homosexuality as a sin and define homosexuals as sinners ceased.

The point here is that I don't care if homosexuality is a sin. I don't care if homosexuals are sinners because here is a news flash... they would be sinners even if they weren't homosexuals. It's not about the sin my friends. It is not about the sin. It is not about the SIN. It is about the people. It is about Jesus. It is about sanctity and love and holiness. No matter the sin inside us, those things are not negated.

You see we do not deny marriage rights to oath breakers. To cheaters. To murderers. To liars. To whores. To children who disobey their parents.  We do not deny marriage to divorcees. We do not deny marriage to people who do not wish to consecrate their marriage. And all of these things stand in the way of the "sacred" definition of marriage. Yet we allow these people to marry. Legally. In the Church. Before the eyes of God. With our blessing.

The reason I must write these things is for you. All of you. Because it is not right for me to sit in community with you and not tell you these things. I must write these things because there are people I love so dearly who need to know that not only do I believe in their relationships, I commit my life to their relationships. Danny and Gareth, I will gladly stand up and witness your commitment to each other... I will gladly stand up and fight (aka vote) for your marriage. I will fight not only so you can marry, I will fight after you do because when I put my name on a marriage (even if it is not my own) I commit myself to doing everything in my power to making that marriage last.

I must write because their are people in a little country church who need to hear me say that when you speak the things you speak you hurt so many people. I will love you forever. I will worship with you forever. I will respect you forever. But hear me when I say, that it is not Godly to behave this way. It is not Godly to place your expectations of a relationship on people outside of your community. It is not Godly to turn away, to use harsh words, to segregate. It is not Godly to turn your back on those inside your congregation who disagree. I listen to you talk about your beliefs and I still trust your faith and your Godliness. I am asking you to listen to me talk about my faith.

and I believe in Marriage Equality.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Two Things.

Before I break into the 22 days since Daddy died, let me just say that I am totally freaking out right now and trying not to. See the Architect texts me every night... starting around 8 and going until pumpkin hour when he falls asleep. Every single night. Until this night. This very one right now where I am freaking out. I'm not freaking out because I think he might not like me anymore. I'm freaking out because I am scared that he is dead too. Yep. Sounds ridiculous. But I am terrified that he is dead. The same thing happened when it took Bryce two whole days to get back to me. Bryce is fine. He told me. But now, I am searching news sites making sure Architect is still alive too. I can't find anything. I'm trying to tell myself that God is not out to get me with the death. All of this is just life, just Him bringing home his people... these years culminating with my father are not His attempt to tell me that I am just the omen of death.

Now on to the things that will make me sound only slightly less ridiculous...

I still have a hard time sleeping through the night. My nightmares aren't the same anymore though. They used to be about people I love dying or scary monsters or the Apocolypse and Christ's return... but now they are about having enough food for the funeral, or not being able to take care of my family well enough, or once that Daddy was knocking and I couldn't get to him. They are riddled with stressful things. They are harder to shake off but less terrifying... more scary, less terrifying.

I am still upset that they wouldn't let me see him and hold his hand before they bagged up his body. I am so hurt about that. They said it would freak me out to much, that I wouldn't want to remember him that way... but I remember him bleeding from the head, the neck... I remember him so beat up and gross because of some trip and fall when he was too drunk to walk straight. I held his hand then... I wanted to hold his hand when he died. It was what I did. But they wouldn't let me and I didn't know how to push it. So I gave it up and just tried to hold his hand through the black plastic bag.

I worry that I'm not always super sad. In fact most of the time I'm just A-ok. But then I break down and cry wildly. Like at the wedding I was bartending last week when the father of the bride walked her down the aisle. Or driving in the car past the house I grew up in where I have the most memories of him. And... always always always the Beatles.

I am worried about Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas. and I can't remember the recipe for Hot Cross Buns which is the first pastry he taught me to make.

He may not have taken care of me but he sure did teach me to take care of everyone else. and I'm scared that I won't be able to without him here to tell me what to do next.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things Fall apart...

If I had a nickel for every post that started out with life and ended in death, I would be the richest girl in the world.... or I'd at least have enough money to buy myself a diet coke.

I will say all the right things everywhere else. I will be perfect everywhere else. I will keep it together for everyone else. But here, now, with you, I'm going to let it go.

My dad is dead.

I am so shaken and lost. I don't even know how to process this. I really thought he was going to live forever and continue to be my responsibility forever. I thought that this would be my life long burden. I was ready for that.

I knew that there was a relatively low chance of him living 5 years past his surgery. I knew that he really had to quit drinking in order to live a full life. I have been watching him shrink away to practically nothing for over a year. I knew all that... but I thought he would be like a twinkie... well preserved and while not healthy not something that would kill you either.

But then boom like a flash of light and a crack of the universe he was not. He ceased. He ended. He left. Again.

I have thought forever that my father wouldn't live to walk me down the aisle. The two times I've been close to marriage, I've had to rearrange my childhood wedding plans to fit him in because he was never a factor, never supposed to make it. Now it seems so wrong that he actually won't be there.

I hate planning this funeral. I hate it so much. I don't want anyone else to do it. I want to do it all. But I hate it.

I may have been overwhelmed by my father for many years. Angry at him for a few. But it was an honor to care for him, to fight for his life, and to give all I had to be here with him. I would do it again. And better.

I love you, Daddy. I miss you too much already.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Architect...

A few months ago, I posted about dating. I mentioned that I had been out twice with an architect that I liked but wasn't interested in. Well two more months have passed and we are still dating.

I planned every time I went out with him to break it off. I planned and talked and planned. But it never happened. Because every time we went out I had fun. I couldn't do it. He was so nice and funny and I just couldn't.

He wore me down. We are still seeing each other and I've given up. I like him. I like him a lot. It hasn't made Ananth go away in any measure, but I am moving on. I am terrified that this is too soon and that I'm just rebounding or looking for love or something, but I'm trying to trust myself and let it be okay.

I don't think he's my boyfriend, but we haven't talked labels. He is so okay with this slow progression that I am letting myself be okay with it too. I don't know what we are... so I just say we are "seeing each other".

So I'm dating the architect. And we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Slightly Irreverent

I have been attending a church in Maple Valley, WA for the entirety of my life. I haven't always been a regular attender, but regular enough. Let me preface everything I have to say here today with this: This group of people has been my solid consistent source of joy for 28 years. I love them so much that I don't know what to do with them most of the time.

I was chatting with a man from my church today. He is not new to the church, but I don't know him well, which is strange in our church of just over 100 people. We've talked before and I find him amusing and his wife is a riot. Today he told me he'd like to know me better... that I'm intelligent and funny... and slightly irreverent.

Those last two words pretty much sum up my relationship with my church in the last couple of years... or five. It all started when I went away to Bible College and came home with strange thoughts on God. It increased when I decided to pledge myself to the Catholic Church and still continue in community with this small evangelical protestant congregation. And then it got worse when I went out into the world with a Theology degree strapped to my back and had to begin to live this newly defined and vocalized ideal I had built for myself.

These days I walk into church and feel like a joke. No one really takes me seriously. I'm just that slightly irreverent girl who probably loves Jesus and will probably be in Heaven, but really is just wrong about most things. I have a big vocabulary and I've studied a lot but I don't really know what it is to just have a simple faith anymore. I don't have anything to offer them but a smile and yet another crazy story about how my family is falling to pieces so they can pray for me.

It makes me sad. I feel apart from most of them. Part of that is probably me, but I know I worry some of them and scare some of them and really full on terrify some of them. I don't know how to be a helpful part of Christian community anymore without denying what I believe.

I want to find that place where I can worship with those whom I love without being thought crazy. I want to worship with my Auntie. I want to worship with both of my churches at the same time. I want to worship with my gays. I want to not walk into the church where everyone knows me and feel like I will never again fit in.

I miss myself in that community. I know I don't belong there anymore, but I don't know how to leave them. They are my family and leaving seems so sad and lonely.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Read the Bible

Today I was reading one of my favorite blogs, and checking out their facebook page and this led to this facebook event. I hate reading things like this. I don't care that people want to support Chick-fil-A's decision not to support same sex marriage. I totally understand and support the church's stand on marriage. I don't agree with it, but I think that the separation of Church and State should protect the Church's right to not officiate a marriage they do not support. I also understand why they feel the way they do. What I don't get is telling people who do support same sex marriage that they are not Christians! Can my support of same sex marriage really deny me salvation, redemption, resurrection, etc? Or even if I was gay would I be denied salvation? That is just ridiculous.I was hurt not personally but for my church and for the people arguing with them. I am ashamed to put my name on either group. I am in the Church. I vote for same sex marriage. I am ashamed of those in both groups who give either a bad name. You should all feel terrible about your lack of dignity and respect. 

I had to go read my Bible to feel better. I don't believe this is what Christ wanted. I just want to know that there is hope. I want to believe that the Church can serve the world while abstaining from it. Why oh why are we so scared of what is not ourselves? Or even more why are we so scared of ourselves? 

I don't even know how to engage in this conversation. With so many voices and so much hate, how do I do anything? Well I hate that thought. Why must I believe that in order to do something, I must do it on a grand scale? I don't have to be the leader in order to contribute? They don't have to be my words? I just don't know. 

I sound like such a hippie. 

This was the most depressing part of my day.

PS. Post break up win: I went to a wedding today and when the thought occurred to me that I would never stand up with the man I love and pledge my life to him because he doesn't want me, I pushed it away. It only took like 3 seconds. I didn't collapse this time like I usually do.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

It's actually past Midnight, but it is not yet 1am, so I think it still works.

I found an awesome blog today... I mean awesome. So I stayed up late to read it.  Lillian came home tonight though and will be waking me early to spend time with her, so I can't go into detail, but I think people should read it.  I know that we won't all love it, but I think we should all view as educational at least. Clearly we all know that I, with my liberal sensibilities, love it. Anyways, just had to share...