Last summer this was a vibrant, beautiful plant. I usually take my plants off of my deck for the winter, but last year I never got around to it. This pot sat outside all winter through all kinds of snow, sleet, and rain. Now normally at the beginning of spring, I will bring all of my pots out of the garage and get some nice spring flowers to plant to make my deck look nice. Well, if you are friends with me in real life, you know that my deck was in dire need of repair. In fact, the whole thing needed to be replaced (except for the structure). Since I wasn’t sure when that was going to take place, I never got around to planting flowers. So, this pot sat on my deck with dead twigs in it. I don’t know if you can tell from this picture, but there are some twigs in there that have zero life sprouting from them. And that’s how it looked all summer. I did plant flowers for my front porch so every day I would go around and water my flowers…and the dead twigs on my deck. I wasn’t really sure why I was watering a pot of dead flowers. Something in me just knew that flowers are supposed to have water…and although these were just twigs I felt compelled to water them. And they stayed dead…all summer…until the first week in October when these beautiful little red sprigs blossomed. I couldn’t believe it! All that tender care all summer and it waited until the fall to spring to life!
I can’t help but be reminded of the people I have met along my journey when I think about this plant. So many of their stories start with thoughts of death, despair, hopelessness, and they are barely clinging to life. It’s when someone comes along and offers them unconditional love without fail that finally brings them back to life. They regain their spark, their zest for life, their love for themselves. I have seen it happen in my own son, and in many people who I have met along the way.
I have been in a deep struggle lately. It’s why I haven’t written much. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for me to be a part of the church…Big C church. It is getting harder and harder for me to separate myself from what I’m seeing happening in the lives of so many. There are too many lifeless twigs that are dying from the lack of love and my heart just can’t take it. It is a daily struggle and I have to keep reminding myself that these people…”church people” do not represent the God that I know and love. People have accused me of being divisive. They say that I talk too much about the bad parts of the church. I’m sorry, but I can’t ignore what is happening. There is too much at stake. Too many people that need love to thrive.
But rather than me share with you what’s happening, I invite you to watch this video to hear from the people who are actually living it. It is an hour and a half, but it is worth every minute. I sobbed through most of it because I have met people in these situations. I have entered their stories. I have shared their grief. And some are no longer part of this world because no one loved them back to life.
If you call yourself a Christian, I urge you to watch this video. Especially if you are a Christian that thinks you can’t be gay and a Christian. I’m not sure what path God is going to take me on next…but I know that the status quo just isn’t going to work for me anymore. If you watch the video and have questions, I’d love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you if you are local…or we can chat via email. Be the love that so many desperately need…because love matters.