Smiles and tears

A reader writes …

I regularly read your blog via Facebook and enjoy your ongoing insight. It was a privilege to meet you and hear you share in Scotland in December 2007 having just finished reading ‘More Ready Than You Realise’. Having seen a breakthrough in several personal prejudicial barriers around that time, I was sincerely thinking about ways in which I could express the love of Christ to the LGBT community in Scotland.
The following Summer, I went on my first gay pride march with my now-wife, shortly after a furore broke out in the Church of Scotland concerning the appointment of an openly homosexual minister. The year after, I did the same and this year, I took a small group of friends from my church. The guys wore t-shirts which said “I’m in love with a man as well” on the front and “Jesus Christ” on the back. Rather than get tangled in the right-wrong argument or employ our typical evangelical three-step plan to salvation, we felt an apology on behalf of the church was more sufficient and plagiarised the post-modern apologetic you propose in ‘More Ready Than You Realise’: “I’m sincerely sorry we Christians have often created roadblocks for spiritual seekers through our narrow mindedness, failure to bridge racial, cultural and class barriers and lack of acceptance. Please don’t blame Jesus for our failure to live up to his teaching and example and be assured we will try to do better with God’s help. Please pray for us.”
We gave out around a thousand lollipops and leaflets with the above emblazoned on it. When we met our friends from Metropolitan Community Church on the march, they loved the leaflet and the fact it had no E-Mail address or contact details on it and took a bundle for themselves. However, what evoked most humility was the response from those on the march. Many of those we met had tears in their eyes and offered their gratitude, others shared horrendous experiences of rejection at the hands of the church and some simply smiled and chatted with us about the nice weather. It was a profound experience, but I just wanted to offer my thanks for your wise words and books, which have been a breath of fresh air to me.

Thanks for this encouraging story. I have warm memories of my times in Scotland. Keep up the good work!