By Scott Rosekrans | Pastor, Port Hadlock Community UMC
Yesterday after our outdoor service we had a joint church picnic on the grounds. As I was cooking the hotdogs with one of the church members two young girls approached me, probably between twelve and fourteen years of age. They wanted to know if they could ask me a question. I figured it was probably when the hotdogs would be done or if we were having hamburgers too. I said sure, ask away.
The older of the two girls asked, “Does God like gays?”
It’s amazing what shoots through your mind in a matter of milliseconds.
How can I complicate this issue for two girls who have probably heard other adults debating the topic and watching the battles play out on television?
My reply? Yes, he does. God loves all of his children.
I then told them that God, the creator of everything, made nothing imperfect and made nothing unclean. God deeply cares about what is in our hearts. He loves us and he wants us to love others, our neighbors, even the neighbors who we think are different from us.
Just about that time God gave me a perfect illustration of love. I looked over and saw my former pastor who had recently come out publicly as a gay man. He was standing there with his two little girls. I pointed him out and told the girls that that guy is gay and those were his children he was with.
They said, “That guy is gay?” I said yes and what’s more he is a pastor.
I told them that his girls love him, his ex-wife loves him, his church loves him and I love him so how could God not love him? They seemed satisfied with my simple explanation and ran off to play. I looked over later and saw them playing with the pastor’s girls. All was right with our little corner of the world.
I realized that we have to practice what we preach. If we preach love we better practice love and be an example to those out there who are watching and have questions. I’m hoping that if the girls get into a discussion with some of their peers one of them will respond, “I asked a pastor if God likes gays and he told me yes.”
Credit: Photo by Flickr user “frankieleon”, CC BY 2.0.