Love Your Neighbor
Seth, my youngest, sat in my lap.
We were watching a Clone Wars (or as he says ‘Clum Werz’) spinoff called “Bad Batch”, about a squad of Clones who each have unique and amplified identities and skills. They are outcasts now, and on the run.
I asked him which was better – “Bad Batch” or “PJ Masks”, another of his favs.
He looked at me, perplexed, and eventually said-
“They’re both better.”
Ha! His childlike delight in what he finds good does not have a category for ‘better than’. Alas, I’ve been one of the first to teach him the notion of comparison, which can be problematic, if not sometimes proper.
This bit about comparisons is precarious for the soul looking for enlightenment, or peace, or salvation. The Lenten prayer of St. Ephrem is my favorite ordered prayer, and part of my daily rule. Part of that prayer begs –
“Grant that I may see my own transgressions, and judge not my brother.”
This is pride week at my middle school, part of the larger societal pride month.
I walked into the building a few days ago and there were flags adorning lockers and hallways and doors.
We will be showing videos about being “allies” during our home room periods, and I think we should always love our neighbors, whoever they are.
I have a lot of personal opinions on these matters, and I wonder if those viewpoints could get me cancelled by champions and opponents of the LGBTQIA+ movement.
Proverbs tells us that “even a fool is thought wise” if he keeps his mouth shut, and so I have.
Nevertheless, I have thought deeply around this topic for many years, for a variety of reasons that are mostly personal.
I believe that Christ’s command to love compels us to treat those we disagree with honorably and with grace.
Rather than spout about my beliefs here, which would likely prove tiresome and troublesome, I’ve decided to post two of my fictional stories addressing the topic.
I’ve found fiction writing very cathartic in this way. Writers must show, not tell, and this reduces the ‘telling’ greatly, which is where a truckload of our problems with one another come in.
“Oil and Wine” (type 33 into the page box at the top) is a modern version of the parable of the Good Samaritan. It is an apology to the traditionalist crowd, and the hero (Samaritan) is a gay man.
“Uncle Myron” is an apology to the pride crowd, and the hero is someone who affirms his gay nephew/adopted son as a human being but stops short of affirming his homosexuality.
I hope you will take the time to read these stories. More than that, I hope you will see the image of Christ in your neighbor, and you will love, regardless of how uncomfortable or unsafe that might make you feel.
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"Examine all things; hold on to the good."
-Saint Paul the Apostle