Saturday, January 1, 2011

eyes to see, ears to hear

Yesterday morning's email brought among others, news from Dan Savage and Terry Miller- yes, that Dan and Terry. A group e-mail which announced that since acting on their idea several months ago the IT GETS BETTER SITE has grown to more than 7,500 videos and more than 25 million views.

Remarkable doesn’t quite cover it- Figures which bare repeating: 75,000 videos contributions, testimonials, acts of compassionate outreach and support in Christian-speak and 25 million TWENTY-FIVE MILLION people who engaged with the message of IT GETS BETTER.

Sitting here with those statistics, I can’t help but think there’s some mighty powerful and startlingly simple lessons our Church could learn from the likes of Dan Savage and Terry Miller and the thousands of LGBT men and women who responded compassionately to their call. Reminds me of another time in recent history when the Holy Spirit offered up our LGBT tribe- many of them the most marginalized and empoverished in society, as both an example and an opportunity for our Churches to live out their vocation to be the Body of Christ. Of course, what I’m referring to are the darkest days of the first decade of AIDS here in North America. And we all know how poorly our churches did with that one.

Thankfully- can I hear a Praise God please- this is another day; thanks in part to the folks of New Hampshire, the skilful and gracious leadership of the current Presiding Bishop and many of her colleagues, and most recently thanks to the folks of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Lots to be thankful for- in some quarters at least, but that said, I stand by my suggestion that Dan, Terry and It Gets Better have a lot to teach the churches- to teach my Church. But uncharacteristically I will not be laying it out for you today. Rather a lot happening here at present and I must be about other things.

A while back though in response to a post of mine I was attacked for the ‘heresy’ of suggesting that the Holy Spirit has and is using Her LGBT daughters and sons prophetically within organized religion in our time. ‘How dare you?’ I was challenged. ‘What could you possibly mean, the Holy Spirit ever having need of queer folks, who scripture clearly calls an abomination,’ he continued. Well-intentioned though he may have thought himself, my attacker never responded to my detailed reply.

What do I mean? How about the lesson of IT GETS BETTER? Our God is neither bound or limited by Holy Scripture, canon law or the rites and offices of patriarchy. Our God lives and moves among the hearts and lives of His/Her creation and never has S/He has never been more present and available to us than in the course of current events.

God bless you Dan Savage, God bless you Terry Miller we are all blessed by your prophetic example.