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Monday, May 25, 2009

“God Hates Gays”


I thought the headline might grab some attention as well as put in clear written words the absurdity, rudeness and arrogance of the sometimes unspoken, and often spoken, sentiments of large sections of the Christian community.

This past week I attended the sub-regional conference of the Metropolitan Community Church. It was a great weekend of networking, worship and friendship. The biggest thing I took away was an increased commitment to support same-sex relationships and stand up for the rights of gay people to live full and active lives as followers of Jesus Christ.

I was privileged to be invited into the private lives of some special people who told me stories of rejection by their families, society but mostly stories of rejection by the Church that call itself Christian. I heard stories from people who were sincere believers who loved and served Jesus in their place in the world.

To say that God hates anyone is a disgusting statement fuelled by a narrow, homophobic worldview. To claim a biblical foundation for this sentiment of bigotry saddens me more than I can say.

Of course, by writing such a post, I am prepared to engage in theological debate but want I want you to understand is that this weekend I have hugged gay men and lesbian women. I have heard stories of despair but also stories of hope and redemption as lives have been touch by the God who is love. Wherever the debate goes I will be there but wherever people need to be affirmed and supported to live lives as children of God I will also be there.

I have seen the power of God’s love and it does not flourish in the dark halls of a conservative agenda.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A story of magic

I have just finished watching Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium with Samuel and Thomas. It is the second time we have seen it and I still got sucked in by the magic and wonder of the story and it feels SO good to be captivated by the special things in life.

The story is about a magical toy store run by Mr Magorium who is 243 years old. The toys are alive and bouncing and it is a haven for children of all ages. The secret is that Mr Magorium believes in the store but one day he announces that he is leaving. In fact he says that he is "leaving this world" and he hands over the store to his young assistant.

The assistant is horrifed. She doesn't want Mr Magorium to "leave" and to make matters worse the store reacts badly and eventually shuts itself down and all the magic departs as well as the customers. The movie has a wonderful moment when assistant takes Mr Magorium on a special day to help him see the magic of life. He understands at the best last day of life ever. They jump on beds in a bedroom store; they roll out a giant sheet of bubble wrap and dance on it to the sound of popping and laughter and they set all the clocks in a grandfather clock shop to the same time so the whole store breaks out into chiming at the same time.

As the film continues the assistant must either sell the store or discover the source of the store's magic. We had a great time. Thomas and I were lying on bean bags and had a big blanket over us. Samuel was curled up under his blanket and we laughed and imagined and dreamt dreams.

We agreed to hunt out giant bubble wrap and take it to one of the shopping malls to dance. Thomas wants to put out a hat to see if we can get some money!

For the past 6 weeks I have had Thomas off school. For most of that time Thomas and I have been in our new house. I have him for 5 nights a week but due to behavioural issues I agreed to take him out of school before the end of last term and we have only just got word on funding for a teacher's aide and his case worker is liasing with the school to make his reintroduction a more positive experience for everyone.

I have to say we have had the best time. I recalled this when Mr Magorium's assistant said that they needed to wait 37 seconds for the clocks to start chiming. He replied "No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime."

6 weeks well used has been a lifetime of memories. We have climbed up to the helicopter in McDonald's playgrounds; we have swung on swings; we have laughed, hugged and sung songs; we have bought large cuddly toys and had heaps of fun.

There is still magic in the world if only we take the time to look and realize that 37 seconds well used is a lifetime.