Lucky Chance

I can’t remember the circumstance that prompted it, but I recently had the classic Christianese thought: “There but by the grace of God, go I.” It means, if God hadn’t put me in such a good life, I could be where that unfortunate person is.

It was probably in my head due to thinking about ISIS and the horrors of extremist religious oppression. Knowing what a rule-follower I was as a child all the way into my early thirties, I thought if I’d been born into that extremist Islamic culture, I would be one of those women who was all about following the rules I was taught unquestioningly. I might be waving a gun around, patrolling the streets looking for rule-breakers, and cheering on horrific acts. There but by the grace of God…

Or I might’ve been thinking about Liberia and the Ebola outbreak where people don’t have access to the same excellent health care I do. Where they have to hide the fact they or their family members might be sick so that they aren’t ostracized. There but by the grace of God, go I.

But now I’m questioning that, simply because I know God loves us all perfectly and equally. Is it really loving to pick and choose which soul gets born into a safer, clean environment, and which gets born into a slum? Or is it kinder for God to allow chance to take place, to allow for blind luck?

Am I blessed? Or am I just lucky? I think the latter may be more fair from a Christian point of view. God may know when a sparrow falls, but it doesn’t say he chooses which sparrow will fall.

If I am not blessed, if I am just lucky, some of my specialness is taken away. That may be a good thing. It doesn’t change God’s love for me if I was not specially chosen to have the privileged life I do. But it can introduce more humility into my heart. These days I feel more lucky than blessed. And I don’t think God’s offended at all by that.

Because LIFE!

There’s a debate going on these days about whether or not it is okay to tell fat people or fat children that they are just fine the way they are. There’s this odd fear that if you do so, you’ll be condoning their “self-destructive” behavior…that shaming or constantly reminding them of their need to change is the only way to move them towards “health.”

Sounds a lot like the fundamentalist Christian attitude toward the LGBT community, but I digress.

Here’s the deal. No one has any right to tell another person how to live their life. No one has any right to shame another person based on their looks.

I am 5’6″ tall and weigh 213 pounds. I waver between a size 16 and 18. And I’m done trying to be something I’m not.

In the past week, I’ve begun choosing joy. I’ve begun looking for happiness in the body that I’m in, rather than hoping for happiness once I’ve changed. There’s no time for that; life is now! I have a trip to London coming up that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid. I couldn’t care less what my body looks like for it. I’m not going there to impress anyone. I’m going there to BE. IN. LONDON.

To just be. That is the point of life. To be you. And if you’re fat, be joyous. Why? Because you’re alive, you’re living, and there’s no one else out there that can live it like you.

And let’s look at the lean community’s blatant double-standard. They are so afraid of accepting fat people as they are because being overweight could shorten that person’s lifespan. So…what’s with all these extreme sports? How many lean people die every year from their dangerous sporting choices? A lean body doesn’t do you any good when something goes wrong on your base jump. But such obviously dangerous life choices are okayed and the newly-dead are celebrated because, as their grieving friends will say, “They died doing what they love.”

If we are supposed to celebrate someone who reveled in life-threatening behavior because it gave them joy, then stop staring judgmentally at the fat person enjoying an ice cream cone. You have no idea who they have helped, how much they are loving those who need it, and what contribution they are bringing to society in ways that have nothing to do with their size.

Life is to be lived as each individual chooses to live it. It doesn’t matter when you die as long as you’ve lived your life to your satisfaction.

Brightness

I’ve had several reminders lately to enjoy life and let go of the things that are unimportant such as my weight or broken dreams. I’m worrying less about making sure I get “my time,” instead looking for activities that fulfill me. Did you know they have roller skating at the Town Toyota Center these days? Oh, happy day. :)

This little video was just one of the things that has gotten me thinking this way. Enjoy!

A God of Torture, or a God of Love?

How do I even talk with Christian friends any more who see God as nothing more than a rulemonger? As someone who only wants to save a chosen few of humanity and spend His eternity with the full understanding and feeling of the majority of humanity suffering endless torment? Have they really thought that through? Do they understand that He will experience the agony of His creations suffering forever? HOW IS THAT LOVE? How is that love for Himself or for the tortured? Continue reading

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

There is terror in the Christian church. It is the terrible fear of eternal damnation and torture. The fear of hell. Not even the fear of the omnipotent God, but the fear of hell. I began wrestling with the concept of hell as God brought more gay friends into my life. Especially Christian gay friends who walked closely with the Lord. As I began to look at the bible for myself and not rely on pastors or teachings from my childhood, I began to see Jesus more clearly. Continue reading

Forging Beliefs

I’ve been thinking about a couple years ago, maybe not that long, when I was struggling with the concept of hell. The whole idea of eternal torture was so antithesis to the character of Jesus. I was questioning the concept because I had so many new gay friends due to my podcasting on Greetings from Nowhere. Like with my grandfather who died potentially “outside of Christ,” I was questioning not God’s compassion, but the idea of hell in the face of God’s compassion. Continue reading

Confidence

Confidence is a funny thing and hard to come by. I often worry and fear that the things I do or the choices I make are inherently flawed simply because, well, they’re from me. Where that comes from, I’m not sure, but I am working on overcoming it. I was really encouraged today by Greg from the “Inappropriate Conversations” podcast who gave “Greetings from Nowhere” such a great shout out.

It’s good to remember that we are all just stumbling along in our lives, doing our best to be ourselves and live in the moment. So, every day I walk a little taller. And so should you.

Love is the only thing that will never fail

The more gay friends God places in my life, the more I have no room for judging them or thinking their attraction to the same sex is some kind of choice. You know what I see when I look at my gay friends? People. People with dreams, hopes, laughter, jobs, dirty diapers, family, dogs, cats, cars, loves, hates, homes…in a word…lives. What do I not see? Sex. That is as important or not important in a committed gay relationship as it is in a committed
straight relationship. It’s not the core. Love is the core.

I didn’t choose to be straight. I have simply always been attracted to men. The cute guy walking down the street today as I drove downtown caught my eye and kept it. Eyes on the road, Nik! They are great to look at. I never chose to be attracted to men. I just am.

It’s the same for every gay person I know. Even the ones who try to be attracted to the opposite sex to satisfy what their religion or their peers are pressuring them to do.

Condemnation will fail. Forcing one’s will on others will fail. Ridiculing others will fail. Judging others will fail. Attempting to correct others through fear will fail.

Love never fails.

Selah.

Destiny…thanks Don and Will!

Don Miller tweeted a few days ago asking if anyone know of a quote where someone wrote about having a sense of destiny. I really didn’t know any, but thought I’d check with my man, Shakespeare. He is quoted as having said, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” At first blush, I thought this was just another bit of God-is-in-everyone, we-are-the-universe, type stuff–which has never quite worked for me. But then I thought about it for myself. Jesus calls us to be ourselves. To simply be just like he and the Father and the Spirit are. God’s name is I AM. If that is so and we have a destiny, then our destiny is sewn into the fabric of who we are. Into our very character and existence. The more we discover and live who we are, the more a sense of destiny will rise in is.

What’s really exciting is that it means all of humanity has a destiny together. As we struggle as a people to become what God envisioned at our inception, the more our destiny as a race of beings will become clear.

And what’s even more cool? The character and being of God himself is woven into the fabric of humanity’s destiny through Jesus of Nazareth. How glorious!

No Compromise

I did a solo podcast of “Greetings from Nowhere” tonight and talked about Keith Green. I found myself, however, most emotionally touched when I described the cover of the album, “No Compromise.” When I was a child, I would listen to the album and just ruminate on that cover. I couldn’t imagine ever being so brave that I would not bow to someone if it meant my death. The man in the picture, to me, was the most courageous person I had ever seen.

I still ponder the kind of courage it would take to stand for your passion and beliefs to the point that you would be willing to give your life. I don’t know. I don’t think any of us know or will know unless we’re ever in the position to make that choice.

These days I’m still moved by that painting, but oddly, I see it as more akin to when I have to stand up to my Christian brothers and sisters who disagree with me. It doesn’t happen often. But the feeling of being on the outs with those you love, or having to curtail what you say so that you don’t offend…kinda uncomfortable.

I still can’t figure out why that picture affects me so emotionally. I think I just really want to be that brave of a person.