Sometimes songs just hit you right in the heart…especially when sung on a Sunday morning during worship time at church. For me, there is something special about being with a big group of people all singing along. This past Sunday for Easter that song was Worth by Anthony Brown and Group. We had the added bonus of members of our congregation forming a choir and joining our worship band to sing it. They did an AMAZING job. The song is powerful and they brought it! There weren’t many dry eyes when they were finished.
This is how the song starts out…
You thought I was worth saving
So you came and changed my life
You thought I was worth keeping
So you cleaned me up inside
You thought I was to die for
So you sacrificed your life
So I could be free
So I could be whole
So I could tell everyone I know
Like I said…it’s a powerful song. You could feel an appreciation in the room. An appreciation for being loved by God…even in our messiness. You could feel an appreciation for being loved even though at times we don’t feel worthy of that love.
I think a lot of Christians would say that they aren’t worthy of the grace they receive from God. It’s given to us freely. It’s one thing to examine ourselves and converse with God about what He might want to change in us. It’s something totally different when we look around and start to judge what someone needs to change or who is or isn’t worthy of that same grace.
Unfortunately there are Christians out there that don’t feel that the same love that is extended to them should be extended to the LGBTQ community. I see it every single day. They think that the community needs to change, that they need to be cleaned up, and that Jesus didn’t die for them. They will say that Jesus died for everyone, but their actions surely do not show it.
I have this box on the shelf in my office. It’s full of cards. Birthday cards. Graduation cards. Congratulation cards. Welcome baby cards. Wedding cards. Sympathy cards. These cards don’t go to people I know. They go to people who reach out for help. Sometimes it’s from total strangers and sometimes it’s from fellow mama bears.
There are people who reach out to our private FB mom group asking for support because their church and family have abandoned them. They aren’t asking for money or anything physical. They are asking for love so the moms in our group send cards to let them know they aren’t alone and they are loved. Then there are the cards that go out to fellow mama bear’s children. You see…when their child comes out there are no longer cards from grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, etc. Birthdays, graduations, weddings all come and go without any acknowledgement from the people who once professed to love them.
This week the Supreme Court agreed to hear a trio of cases about whether anti-discrimination workplace laws apply to LGBTQ employees. Federal appeals courts are divided about whether anti-discrimination laws protect LGBTQ individuals. As these things are posted on social media, the posts from professing Christians are quite honestly shocking. They write about how they are praying that the courts rule in favor of discriminating against this community (although the language they use to describe the community is not something I feel comfortable repeating). On top of workplace discrimination, my trans friends have to worry about regulations that could allow health care providers, hospitals, and insurers to discriminate against transgender patients. Again, the “cheers” online in favor of this are appalling.
We literally wake up everyday and wonder what fresh new hell awaits our kids. Will it be from our own family and friends, the government, the church, or strangers on the internet? And yes I know that not ALL Christians ascribe to this kind of behavior and beliefs. The fact that even one Christian thinks any of this is ok is one too many for me. They don’t bother taking the time to educate themselves and they make too many assumptions.
These behaviors are horrifying coming from anyone, but you certainly don’t expect to see if from Christians. At least you shouldn’t, but sadly it’s what I expect these days. Children are taking their lives because their families are kicking them out, or just simply pretending like they no longer exist. People are leaving the church in droves and sadly some are leaving their belief in God behind. If you need to turn your back on family, deny services to your fellow humans, discriminate in the workplace and healthcare field to secure your spot in heaven, quite frankly that’s not a heaven I want any part of. Everyone of course has their own beliefs. When we profess to be followers of Jesus, I don’t think those beliefs should be used to harm others.
“You will know me by my discrimination,” is not something Jesus ever said. I think instead he would say…
You are worth saving.
You are worth keeping.
You are to die for.
So you can be free, you can be whole, you can tell everyone you know.
And I think he would say, “You are worth loving.”
Because love matters….