I didn't know what I was doing.
That is one of the most definitive statements I can make about my spiritual journey.
And the second is like unto it:
I had no idea I would end up here.
I used to say, "The Bible clearly says." I used to know for sure. My religious experience was like a spreadsheet of sin and corresponding verses. If there was a question, I had the right answer.
While we were so sure of it all, the law brought us nothing of freedom or hope.
I was filled with anxiety and the need for performance and perfection. Nothing I did ever felt like it was good enough.
Andy was looking at porn. Nothing he did could get him out of that pit.
And then Love found us and made a mess of our system.
Burned it all down overnight, prepared the ground for Love to seed a whole new thing.
When Jesus says to us,
"Behold, I am making all things new,"
count on it.
And you might want to be a little scared, because you can count on this also: you don't get to be in control of where the newness takes you.
The old way is gone, the way of law and rules and being in control and knowing for sure.
The new way is Love, which is not a thing we're in charge of.
Love is not about me and you.
It's not about us being sure and having all the answers.
Love is about Love.
Love is the eternal mystery of God, who creates and sustains and redeems by Love.
This is pretty much the story as I know it today:
That's the whole deal.
I've got to pick Love.
That's my only choice.
That sounds all fine and well and good.
But listen to this: there are times when the law will stand on one side, and Love will stand on the other, and I absolutely must choose Love.
And for me, a person who has a lifelong passion for control, choosing Love over the law is like base jumping.
Like, you could die doing this stuff.
Here's the big jump we took recently.
Following the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, Andy and I rejoiced with our gay friends who were rejoicing. And we did it on Facebook.
We've read and listened to quite a lot from gay Christians over the past year or so. Here's what we've learned. There are some gay Christians who believe that God blesses gay marriage just as much as He blesses straight marriage. There are other gay Christians who believe that celibacy is required. Gay Christians are just trying to figure out what to do with hand that they're dealt. (Here's a great discussion if you'd like to learn more.)
We understand the arguments for each position, but ultimately, the question of celibacy or marriage for gay people isn't one that Andy or I will have to answer personally. We're not gay. How gay Christians choose to live their lives out before God is not up to us.
We therefore have made the decision to step back, trust others with their life before God, and support them on their journey just like we would anyone else. We don't interrogate straight people about their sex lives, and we're not going to do that to gay people, either.
We want to treat people with the best love we can, whoever and wherever they are, without requiring them to meet a certain standard of behavior.
This is how God loves us, and so this is how we have to love others.
We put Love before us and set it as the great North Star of our lives and we follow where it leads, even though we end up in places we didn't plan to go.
We trust that even though the road is steep and strange at times, Love goes before us, and stands behind us, and nothing can separate us from it.
And there is, for us, no turning back from Love.
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." Nelson Mandela
"People who've had any genuine spiritual experience always know that they don't know. They are utterly humbled before mystery. They are in awe before the abyss of it all, in wonder at eternity and depth, and a Love, which is incomprehensible to the mind." Richard Rohr, Falling Upward
"We are born to love as we are born to die, and between the heartbeats of those two great mysteries lies all the tangled undergrowth of our tiny lives. There is nowhere to go but through. And so we walk on, lost, and lost again, in the mapless wilderness of love." Tim Farrington, The Monk Downstairs