The Change

August 4, 2012

I know I have posted so much in favor of the legalization of same-sex marriage that if anyone is listening, they are the already converted.

So I am going to focus on the most beautiful part of this ugly debate.

Hearts and minds are not changed by the restaurants we frequent or boycott, though both sides of the Chick-Fil-A controversy have helped make it hard to pretend this issue doesn’t matter.

They are not changed by witty put downs and name-calling on Facebook.  They are not changed by anger, no matter how righteous that anger is.

Hearts and minds are changed by openness, transparency and experience.  They are changed by the stories in our lives, and those brave enough to tell them.

So for all of you who bravely share your journey to self-acceptance, how you came to know and love yourself just as you are (or were made, by whom or however), you have my endless admiration.

You are the change you wish to see in the world.  You are the hope of all that follow you.

Our collective human nature is such that there will always be ignorance and hatred.  Know that you are doing all that you can, just by being who you are and letting us see your beautiful example.

And because I believe the ability to love oneself is integral to mental health and the capacity to love others, I will do something I rarely do:  quote scripture.

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

(I Corinthians 13, NIV)