As you may have noticed, I have taken a blogging break. The reasons are varied. First of all, my life has been overwhelmingly busy. My mother has just recently moved from Tennessee to Florida. I am an only child, so most of the ins and outs of the move fell to me. She had lived in her current house for over 30 years, and let’s just say that there was a LOT of stuff! Anyway, I got her in her new home (that is relatively close to me) last weekend. Huge ordeal finally over!
My daughter, Bethany is getting married this summer. The wedding will be in North Georgia. That’s right. North Georgia. Bethany wanted a mountain wedding. It will be beautiful…the setting is gorgeous. You may remember that Josh and his wife married last spring. Two weddings in two years…whew!
If you by chance are keeping a tally of my life, (I know there is no one out there who is, but humor me), you realize that since Keith’s death, I have had the following life events: 1. I bought a house. 2. I moved to the new house. 3. I sold the old house. 4. I helped plan Josh and Lauren’s wedding. 5. I hosted Josh and Lauren’s wedding. 6. I started a new business. 7. I helped my mom buy a house. 8. I moved Mom to Florida. 9. I am now in the process of helping plan Bethany’s wedding. None of these things are bad things, but all of them are pretty major life events. Okay, there’s my rather lengthy excuse as to the busyness side on my dereliction of blog duty.
In reality, though, something happened last summer that caused me to put up my pen. As you may remember, Dan Cathy of Chick Fil A made a statement that caused an absolute furor in the “how do we define marriage” debate. His words were few. I don’t know the actual quote, but it was as simple as stating that his company believed in the Biblical teaching of marriage. That’s it. I am sure there were lots of other things said in the interview, but it was those words that turned white hot in the media. Some people boycotted and some people supported. In the end, Chick Fil A was overwhelmed by the support and turnout of people across the country supporting their stand. I guess to all concerned, it looked like they won.
I have known the Cathy family for many years. We don’t swap Christmas cards or anything, but I have known them enough to know what they stand for and what the business was built on. I hated that Dan’s words had been used to fuel a current hot button debate in our country, and I am sure he hated it as well. He merely answered the question, and suddenly he and his company were flung into the heart of the debate.
The craziness that surrounded those words caused me to rethink my view on blogging. I know I am not a great theological writer and I was suddenly overwhelmed with the idea that something I might put in cyber space could be twisted and blow up into something I never intended. So, busyness combined with fear caused me to stop.
But here I am…back at the blogging machine even with all the aforementioned profundity. Why? Well, something happened about a month ago that really got my attention.
I read an article.
I read an article in, of all places, The Huffington Post. Yep, not a place you would usually find a conservative Christian poking around. But this article shed a new light on the Chick Fil A marriage controversy for me. It was written by Shane Windmeyer, LGBT activist and author. In that article he told the story of Dan Cathy calling him on August 10 of last year, during the height of the controversy. He was shocked, and almost didn’t take the call. He did take it, however, and what transpired over the next few months was a series of conversations where Dan sought to understand. He listened. He cared.
Windmeyer writes, ” It is not often that people with deeply held and completely opposing viewpoints actually risk sitting down and listening to one another. We see this failure to listen and learn in our government, in our communities and in our own families. Dan Cathy and I would, together, try to do better than each of us had experienced before.”
In Matthew 22:36, Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment. 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
There has been lots of discussion this week on news outlets and social media. Lots of equal signs and opposing illustrations. Lots of people offering opinions about their views and why yours is wrong. This post is not about any of that. It is about noticing that two men from opposing sides took the time to sit down and get to know each other and to listen to each other.
This morning on the news I saw the new pope washing and kissing the feet of those who had come to see him. What a beautiful picture of humility and love, especially in contrast to the news photos of the week of the people outside of the Supreme Court.
Jesus focused on people and their needs. He sought to understand them. He loved them.
So what does all of this have to do with my spewing my thoughts on a blog? I don’t know. I guess I have realized that sometimes we get so afraid of being misunderstood that we stop moving forward. I guess I’m not going to worry about that anymore. Just gonna write what I notice.
Today is Good Friday. Today we celebrate the overwhelming love that we have experienced through the sacrifice of Christ. This Easter may we again be reminded that the sacrifice of Christ was for all people. Love God. Love your neighbor.
Whose feet should you be washing today?
Blessings, my friends, and Happy Easter.