Today I got a phone call from a friend. It was that kind of a phone call. Doesn’t matter how much you have to get done, you sit and listen. You say a few things, and, then, you listen some more.
One of her grandchildren recently came out as transgendered. Liam’s teachers and classmates are cool with Liam being Liam, but it is causing a rift in the family. One aunt in particular is convinced this child will burn in Hell. Anyone who supports Liam is also heading in that direction.
“As a Christian, what do you have to say?”
I had to think about it before I could answer in part because I wasn’t sure which part of the whole mess she wanted to discuss. “If you mean the part about hell, one of my Sunday school teachers explained it like this, no matter where you end up, you’re going to be surprised by who else is there. Besides, Presbyterians vote on a lot but I don’t think we get to vote on this. It’s up to God.”
“But she thinks that Liam is insulting the God who made him in His image.”
“You mean the God who made really light people, really dark people and everyone in between? The God who made men and women? That God?”
“Look, I don’t get what Liam is going through. I’ve never known what it felt like to feel wrong in my skin. I can imagine what it might feel like, I can listen, but I don’t know. But God made us all in infinite variety. And he puts up with our wearing clothes, coloring our hair and wearing jewelry. That’s all pretty unnatural but I don’t think my green nail polish is going to be a deal breaker. God made Liam and God loves Liam.”
To all of the Liam’s out there, understand that God loves you. I may not understand your journey, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to condemn you for it. I’ll listen as you tell me about it and I hope that you’ll listen when I speak. After all, as Lori put it in her post, your brokenness isn’t my brokenness, but mine isn’t yours either. If we can accept that reality, we just might be able to help each other along.