On my children's birthdays I am, of course, reminded of the circumstances surrounding each of their births. Thirteen years ago at this time, I was in the process of checking into the hospital to have my first child.
The sequence went like this. My due date was still 3 weeks away, but I was having major contractions that kept me awake almost all night. I finally fell asleep at about 6 in the morning. At 8 in the morning, the phone rang. It was my mother-in-law, letting us know that she was about to ship the car seat, which was the "new baby" gift she'd told us she would be sending. At 8:30 my water broke.
In the narrative of Son in Ohio's birth, we would often note with humor how considerate he was to wait until his ride was ready, and to be born during "banker's hours", allowing his Daddy-to-be a full night's sleep before the Big Day. Even though he was early, he was officially "full term", and his time of arrival turned out to be quite convenient.
Thinking back on that story recently, I wryly observed to myself that there hasn't been much reason to use the word "considerate" or "convenient" when talking about my firstborn. Of course that is true of most children, but even greater degree when the child has Asperger's Syndrome. The effect our son's uniqueness has had on our lives and my spiritual development is a multi-faceted topic that I won't explore with you just now. One day, there may be a book. ;)
For now, I'll just say that it is one of several life experiences with which Godde has seen fit to bless me that has leads me to feel moved to compassion toward those who are marginalized. People who are in any way "on the outside looking in". People who others feel free to judge without any real knowledge of what "makes them tick", or any real interest in hearing them tell their stories. The ones people are always talking about, but rarely talking with.
Anyway, last night I was remarking to my husband that when I started out blogging about the General Convention, my motivation was to present a broader, richer picture, without the overemphasis on "controversial issues" that the mainstream press is known for. Yet here I am, very much focused on that very same thing, what I've heard people refer to as "issues of human sexuality". And what I realized something--actually it's something I realized a long time ago, but just hadn't articulated yet. I don't consider the question of who may be consecrated as a bishop or who may have their union blessed and celebrated in their local community of resurrection (church) to be "issues of human sexuality". For me, it's more about marginalization versus inclusion. And marginalization just plain sucks.
And as such, the Body of Christ should not be in the business of marginalizing anyone. Even when "everyone else is doing it", we need to be the voice of radical welcome. Because that's what Jesus was.
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