In 2016, Jim and I were in Columbus, Ohio for a lovely June wedding of dear friends. Shortly after we had arrived, we were excited to learn that the Columbus Pride Parade was to be that same weekend! So on Saturday morning, we headed out to the streets with our flags and scarves to cheer on the colorful and beautiful people passing by.
The Parade was just a week after the unfathomable, tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in which 49 people were killed. Our family was still reeling from that heinous act of hatred that night. Our concern for the safety of our beloved dear ones was constantly on our minds. Jim and I even felt a little nervous attending the parade. I suggested that we text our family to let them know we were there…. just in case.
Immediately we received a call from our daughter Angie.
“Well, I guess I have to tell you that I am here, too. I am marching in the parade!”
Angie had planned to tell us after the parade so we wouldn’t worry. She was marching with other Lutherans in support of LGTBQ+ equality. We all laughed, although mine was a nervous laughter. Relief- but also joy that we didn’t let our fears stop us, our pride for our marching daughter- flooded over us at the end of the morning.
After that, our family talked about the need for us to keep doing what we believe is right, and to keep standing up for those who need us to do so. We agreed that if anything happened to any of us, we would understand the need to carry on, trusting that our dear one was doing exactly what any of us were meant to do.
This is easier said than done, isn’t it? My stomach hurts to even write about the possibility. My fear is not so much for myself, but for my cherished husband, children, and especially all of our LGTBQ+ family and friends. And my risks are SO insignificant compared to the ones my gay loved ones and others face all the time.
The fear is real. One friend had his head pounded against a concrete pavement. One was kicked out of his home. Others have had their cars egged. One simply had an equality bumper sticker on her car and at times faced road rage. Most of them have been cursed by passers-by, just for being who they are.
We have come so far, but please know we have a long way to go. My blogs this week have taken a long time to publish. Not because I had trouble writing them, but because I was afraid to put myself out there. I have already had a few angry reactions and have even lost one friend. Minor things, truly, but they sting.
This is when I think of Jesus. Jesus, who stood for what was right, who spoke for and helped and healed the marginalized, who went to his death in defense of love. Jesus, who calls us to also love and serve one another. Jesus, who tells us time and time again, “Do not fear.”
The truth is, if we let fear keep us from living, we never will have lived, will we? If we allow fear to keep us from doing the right thing, those who evoke those fears will have succeeded. Whatever you may be passionate about, whether it is an issue of justice or a matter of your heart, I hope that you won’t let fear stop you from being who God is calling you to be, to do what God is calling you to do. The world needs you. We need you.
So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
I hope this week has blessed you. If you are reading this, know you are in my prayers. Thanks for reading this week.
Please know you have done a brave and wonderful thing this week and l know you have Blessed many people, including me! Our Bible Study is not huge but we have a nucleus of 6 people who show up each time! Three of us have children or grandchildren in LGTBQ relationships. Tomorrow l am starting our Devotions with Sandi with your first Post and will read them all in the next two weekends!
My granddaughter and Mickie live and work in New York! Katie has a stage name now of Kat Cunning and is an Actor, dancer, singer on and off Broadway, has singing gigs as far away as London and she composes and sings her own songs, Mickie is her backup and plays the drums and is also talented! They have both gotten where they are by hard work and owe nobody for their success! I am beyond proud of Katie and Mickie! They. are in an environment that is friendlier to the LGTBQ and Katie was in the Pride Parade, riding on a float! I was able to like her FaceBook Page photo with a lighter heart because of your posts this week! I know they will help Sandi be more accepting of her daughter and Janet too❣️ God’s Blessings on all your Beautiful family and all the families that have been touched by your wonderful Posts!🙏🙏🙏. Also l hope you had a Blessed and safe 4th❣️🤗🇺🇸🇺🇸
I have learned to count on you for encouragement, my friend. Thank you- always- but especially this week. I’m so tickled that Katie and Mickie are doing so well!
I hope we meet one day. Well, I know we will ONE day! ❤
Thanks for courageously facing your fears.
Thank you, Mike, for reading- and for your gratitude this morning.