Monday, November 7, 2011

Seeing the whole person.

Recently, I met a woman whose son-in-law left her daughter to become a man. She told me with tears in her eyes that she still loves her son-in-law despite the pain he caused her daughter. Her daughter, trying to cope, sought help in a group for spouses of homosexuals, but she quickly gave up as the group was telling her he was supposed to be a woman. They claimed she should be happy for him, that he is pursuing the real him, that she must accept him etc. "We accept him," the mother told me, "we love him."
She told me how he came to a dinner recently after he'd begun operations to change his appearance. When she looked at him, she said she saw "only her son-in-law, with breasts." She saw the person, she saw him, and she said he was still the same guy the family fell in love with and invited into their family four years ago.
Of course he is the same person, and by God's grace her love will remain. But that love is true love, the kind of love that wants the best for him, and she and her daughter want the best for him. They know he is not happy, but they also instictively know that this outward change will not cause the inner healing he seeks. They pray for him, they continue to have a realtionship with him, and that is acceptance of him the person. It is all that acceptance should be.
Acceptance is not an agreement with behavior or actions that are contrary to truth or nature. Actions that are sinful, harmful or destructive need NEVER be accepted. And often the mere disagreement with behavior or actions makes people uncomfortable.
Coming home from that conference where I met this woman, I heard a preacher in the car and his words are appropro. Using the example of a married couple where one spouse has faith and the other does not, he asked, "Why is it that so often the spouse who is faithful stops going to church on Sunday, because it makes the non-believing spouse uncomfortable?" "Why," he asks, "does the person with the light of faith, living the light of truth, feel they must make the person who is living in error and darkness comfortable?" He's so right and it happens all over the place with us believers. It's as if we so pity the non-believer, and we can imagine how painful and uncomfortable the truth and their denial of it makes them, we wrongfully wish to spare them this discomfort. This is a compromise with error. He said, "And whenever we compromise with error, TRUTH is sacrificed!"
We must not compromise with error any longer. Join me now. Make a vow to allow yourself to live your faith openly, to speak the truth openly, to call a spade a spade, to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE from here on out with the grace of God to let those He is working on BE UNCOMFORTABLE. That is the way of the Holy Spirit, is it not? Let the discomfort, the disquiet they feel in their soul seeing you and your faith contrasted against their lack or denial of that same faith make them uncomfortable! At the same time, may we always with God's merciful grace see the whole person and God who lives in that person, and accept the person with all the love we can show.
Peace