February 9, 2011 by Andrew
My first encounter with unconditional love and respect.
Some set up is required for this one, when I was younger I lived in Scotland in a smallish town called Kirkcaldy, Fife. I had just moved there when I was eight. We had and have family friends, you know the kind that you actually introduce as family even though there is no blood relation. Now for the fun part of the story, I mean for you not for me.
Picture it first day of school, I was off to the races in my school uniform, Destination: Fair Isle Prep School. My Aunt and my Mom were walking with me to school when I ran ahead of them. I am a bit ashamed to admit but I was actually skipping not running. What you need to understand is that Scottish sidewalks give new meaning to the phrase “step on a crack and break your back” and that this was not going to end well. I was skipping well ahead of my mom now when I tripped on a crack in the pavement and down I went. Now if only I had not had my hands in my pockets it would have probably ok. My head hit the pavement hard, actually it was my chin as I put my bottom teeth through my bottom lip. I was no longer headed for school, emergency here we come.
A realignment here and there and some stitches and I was as good as new, well not really my face was swollen my jaw hurt and I had to eat through a straw for weeks. I am sure it was only a week but everything is bigger when your small and I was tiny.
Enter who I will only name as my cousin, because that is how I view him although we have no blood ties. While My mom worked, my cousin took care of me, he didn’t have to but he did. We watched movies, played some games and spent time together. I was only eight years old, he was ten years my elder what eighteen year old doesn’t think that taking care of bratty 8 year old is fun. I remember watching Child’s Play with him and his Girlfriend and laughing my head off at this maniacal little doll terrorizing irrational adults.
He never made fun of the way I looked at the moment and he treated me with respect and unconditional love. I continued to see that as I grew up. Now this story is important into understanding who I am I did not realize its significance until the last 5-6 years. Giving so much of my life to faith and ministry, I have struggled to completely hold the stance of some major denominations in regards to the issue of homosexuality. My cousin is Gay, and I am proud of him. You see for me the challenge is in the unconditional love thing, I witnessed and experienced it from my cousin. He showed me more in one week that sometimes the best church goers have ever shown they were capable of.
For God So Loved the World…
This is a very simple truth that is missing and we miss all the time. If we say that we LOVE God then we must LOVE the world in all it’s mess and all it’s inconsistencies. I know that the God I believe in loves my cousin deeply and just because he is not what church culture accepts does not mean that he is cut off from the grace of God. I will continue to reflect on this simple fact LOVE GOD LOVE PEOPLE as this blog continues.