Thursday, August 27, 2009

Playing for Another Team

Many years ago I moved into a cute little apartment building in a charming neighborhood, just two blocks away from the Catholic Cathedral in that city. I was thrilled to start attending the Cathedral, as it is a beautiful church.

A few months later, I saw a notice for people interested in a young adult group at the Cathedral and went to it's very first meeting. There I met a guy who instantly became a friend. I remember that upon that first meeting I thought he was kind of cute, but wondered if he was gay.

We started spending time together within a week. First a bike ride. Maybe a movie. But never dating.

He lived just blocks from me and the Cathedral, in the cutest little Craftsman style house. It was easy for us to get together, and we enjoyed many of the same things.

He had a love for architecture that drew out the same in me. By associating with him, I finally started to understand why I loved what I loved about buildings and houses. I learned the names of certain features and styles.

We both loved everything from the same era. I'd found someone to troll antique stores with.

When my friends met him, they'd ask if he was gay. Because I knew about his interests and attractions - which indicated he was straight - I would say so.

I moved away... and in our communication he shared sometimes that people asked him if he was gay and how frustrated he was by that.

My gay friends met him and declared him, "In the Closet"!

Hearing his frustrations with dating I often thought how much easier it would be for him if he were gay. I've known him for 12 years now and have never known him to date anybody. I've only heard about his frustrations in his pursuit of women.

A few days ago, I noticed his Faceb00k status had changed to 'in a relationship'.
What is this? I asked. Who is this? What is new?

He responded that he had changed teams a year ago and was now dating a really great guy.

I am so relieved and happy for him!

Another friend asked how I reconcile that with my Catholic faith. I know that the Church views Homosexuality as a sin. But I'm not thinking about bedroom activity. I am focused on my friend having a successful, loving relationship that makes him happy. That's what we all want.
I focus more on the Christian duty of loving my neighbor. Of loving my friend and being a friend. God has not put me here to judge. Our Lord will take care of that at the pearly gates. And I feel pretty strongly that since God made my friend, God will understand.
And I'm more concerned about God's view of how I treat those I come to know and care about. I doubt that scorning my friend will win favor with God.

And quite frankly, I'm much happier for my friend finding someone who loves and accepts him- than if he had entered into a marriage denying his authentic self - and deceiving a woman who likely signed up for a heterosexual marriage and all that entails.

How do you reconcile your faith with loving and accepting your friends?


girl from florida said...

Oh my gosh, TRS, I could not have said it better myself. I am so happy for your friend.

I'm a Christian and I was raised in a very strict private school (teaching that homosexuality is unforgivable). However, I don't feel that it's my place to judge, or even to hope that a truly gay friend be miserable with a spouse he/she doesn't love. Now that I live in KW, I'm surrounded by couples of EVERY type and don't even think of it anymore. It's more important for me to be kind and caring, not harsh and judgmental.

Anyway, you articulated it much better than I ever could :)

Rachel said...

Very nicely put! And I agree with your approach.

Alexis said...

"And I'm more concerned about God's view of how I treat those I come to know and care about. I doubt that scorning my friend will win favor with God."

This! You put it perfectly! In the end, we can only be responsible for ourselves, and God tells us to love each other. By loving him, and being his friend, instead of judging him, you are sharing the same love you've experienced in your relationship with God.

You rock, TRS!

Anonymous said...

We really need to love and be kind to everyone, but our first allegiance ought to be to the word of God. This doesn't mean we stop being kind to homosexuals or any other person living in a way the word of God speaks against.

There is no "judging" that we need to do on this issue when the Lord has made His position clear on the matter. We just need to accept what He says and obey.

Interestingly, I ran across this today on another blog which did a great job of just stating with Scripture verses what the bible says on this:

The book of Romans which I'm reading now is a great place to start, right at chapter 1

I love this inspiring true story of Nathaniel Flock that I recently saw about his journey out of a gay lifestyle. He is now happily married, with a baby on the way and loving Jesus:

I am not speaking from a bubble, I have interacted personally, even having lunch with gays and bisexuals very amicably. I want nothing but God's best for them as any other person.

The thing is, we can't obey part of God's word about love, kindness, compassion, and then deny His word about homosexuality being contrary to His plan and ways. Partial obedience is disobedience. And God's been pretty direct on this matter.

Genevra said...

I really liked what you wrote at the end about being 'happier for your friend finding someone who loves and accepts him', etc. Frankly, who wouldn't be happy for anyone they care about to find that? That is part of being a true friend.

Laura said...

I love this post.

I have many gay friends. My father was a theater teacher at Catholic University. The theater department had several gay teachers and many of the male theater majors were gay.
I asked him this question once when I was in college and he said "How can we judge whom someone loves?
Love just loves.
If they are engaging in other behaviors that displease God (sex), then they can take it up with Him when they meet him."

There are many married couples that (according to the church) participate in wrongful "acts."
Is there love a sin too?

This is a multi-layered topic.
Bottom line for me is that I love my gay friends and I don't believe they "love" being gay nor do I believe they "chose" to be gay.