Not a hater

I can well imagine that many of you are ticked at me and not sure if you ever want to read any of my posts again. Here is a follow-up to my previous post.

I have a dear friend at church who had chosen a homosexual lifestyle. We had a wonderful time exchanging pleasantries and even sharing deep sorrows that we knew the other would pray for, as well as joys that we knew the other would rejoice with us over. However, I always felt like I was only getting to see a caricature of the real person.

I suppose you could blame it on them not knowing if I would really accept them if I knew the whole truth. And I suppose that could be true.  I never felt God asking me to talk to this person about their lifestyle, just to be a loving friend.

But then everything changed this summer. I don’t know the why or how of it, but they decided to turn away from homosexuality, and I cannot even begin to describe the changes I saw, though I will try.

They had always stood tall and wore a pleasant smile. But now it is like something is standing tall within them, and the smile is so peaceful and confident and compassionate. The eyes don’t just twinkle, but glow with a deep intensity and openness that, quite frankly, intimidates me. I am used to being the open one, and they put me to shame! There is a joy and sense of wisdom about this person that one seldom sees. They have truly become who they were created to be, and are causing others, including me, to want that peace and confidence of being in God’s will.

As a friend of mine wrote on Facebook several days ago: “‘Alternate lifestyles’ are highly destructive to the body and mind of people who engage in them.  In my mind, love does no harm and that can’t be said of these relationships.  I’m not a hater.  I just feel sorry for people who are harming themselves and others.”

I had always believed the above quote, but still felt it difficult to encourage others to leave a lifestyle they liked, because I know how hard it is to give up habits that I know are not good for me. But after seeing the amazing freedom that my church friend is living in, I am praying for that for everyone. Why suffer needlessly?

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:36 (NIV)