Rainbow Pride

Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with rainbows. Watching bright colors shimmer in the mist or magically appear in a clear blue sky feels like a new experience every time.

Until they took it from me. I was confused at first. A rainbow is a promise to bring hope, joy, and peace to mankind. But they didn’t want to share. I should have said something, but I just rolled my eyes and ignored it. The goths took black nail polish, but that never stopped me. Hipsters took wide framed glasses, but I didn’t care. I, too, take pride in my symbols. They reflect who I am, in my own way. So when they wanted the rainbow, it didn’t matter that much.

I didn’t realize they weren’t going to give it back. They wanted it, and were upset that others weren’t exclusive to their use of it. Rainbows weren’t the same anymore. I can forgive them for it. I can still be friends with them. But I don’t agree.

If only they had stopped at the rainbow. Now I stand and watch the destruction, the chaos, and the pain…..all I can do is weep. Why? They don’t even know what they’ve done. Why aren’t we trying to help them? We say we are Christians yet all we do is condemn them when we should be the ones crying out with the name of the only one who can possibly save them.

My friends couldn’t even tell me to my face. When they said that they were proud of their gender choices I was grieved, but I still love them. That’s why this hurts so much. They didn’t want to be my friend anymore, simply because I couldn’t agree with them 100%. I pray that they read this now, because I desperately want them to know….all of them. Not just my friends, but everyone who chose this path.

I feel that I have failed you. I, and everyone who never stopped to explain to you what AGAPE means. It is because I love you that I can’t agree with you. It’s because I love you that I cry every time I think about you. Because I love you, I don’t want you to destroy your lives. Because I love you, I do not want you to abandon the God you said you loved and worshiped. His love is so much greater than mine, yet you threw it all away because His love isn’t defined by your perception. Unconditional love doesn’t mean inclusive love. It means that though you rejected him, God still loves you. Despite the fact that you don’t want anything to do with him, He still chose to die for you.

You tell me that God is judgmental of your choices. You’re not wrong. He judges in the light of a loving father who does not want His children to walk the path of their own destruction. His love holds no restrictions, and does not exclude anyone because of their past decisions. Whether or not you accept that love is entirely up to you. He won’t ever force you to love Him in return, yet that decision has consequences regardless of what you choose. His love is life-giving, passionate, pure, eternal love. Love does not have room for self. Love cannot gratify every wish and desire you have, because love goes deeper than that. Love is the desire for you to thrive, and live to your utmost capabilities. Love does not allow children to poison themselves by living on candy, and it does not allow me to slit my wrists, even though I crave the distraction of physical pain to relieve the agony in my soul.

That beautiful rainbow that you have taken as your symbol is His. He has not stopped you from using it, but I want you to know what it is. It is a promise. A promise that never again will a flood come to destroy this world. It’s important to me, too.

I am proud to remember the rainbow. It’s promise has not been stained or harmed by your use of it. God loves me, and has blessed me with that rainbow as a reminder of His promise. The promise of His salvation and love extends to you as well. As color is reflected off of the mist, so may my life reflect His love. Shalom.

Falling in Love

I’m falling in love.

Over time I have had many young women come to me with this confession. They smile and their expression grows distant. Just the thought of a special young man in their lives quickens their heartbeat. They seek advice, only to do what they think is best. Their greatest desire is to please “him.”

Though the heady feelings of rapture felt by a man and woman are very strong for a time, I cannot help but think that love is very different. Throughout my life I have witnessed love stories. Many failed before they were properly begun. Yet there are those who continue to this very day. From what I have seen, love is not something you can accidentally fall into.

It’s more of a walk. It starts out easily enough. A man and woman cross paths. Tentatively they begin walking together. Soon it is apparent that both desire to share the path. And they keep walking. A sense of camaraderie develops over time. The walk isn’t difficult. People come and go, walking with the two for a time and then leaving. Sunshine and warm summer winds bring pleasure to the walk.

But a time comes when they have to choose. Every time the path splits they face a decision. Keep walking together, or go their separate ways. True love is displayed when they continue to stay together.

This is often when the falling starts to happen. Though the walk started easily enough weather changes, the path grows difficult, and other travelers are not always friendly. When one stumbles, the other is there to catch them.

Sometimes when one falls, the other misses. At others, both may fall. Hills rise into mountains and fall into deep slopes. If they do not work together, they often are the cause of the others downfall. Yet true love is when they help each other up and keep walking. It hurts. When the walk becomes a climb it slows to a crawl. Darkness falls, threatening to overcome love with fear.

True love lasts long after feelings fade away. It keeps holding on. It continues to walk forward. It is a blessing to witness traveler’s who have walked, crawled, climbed, fallen and continued. They reflect agape, not eros. Given opportunity, I would much rather walk with love.