Thoughts and Comments


Letters to the Editor

A personal perspective on the LGBTQ debate

For me the debate over the inclusion of LGBTQ members is personal. When I hear the arguments presented, I see faces, I remember stories, I recall the pain expressed by so many people who are gay but hurting, afraid, confused, and often feeling unloved. Everybody needs love.

My daughter has a big heart and in her heart she made room for a friend named Jay. They were suffering through the trials of high school and along the way found each other. For the longest time I never knew about Jay being gay. We never talked about it. Carly never told me.

Jesus seemed to go out of his way to welcome the outcasts, to touch the untouchables, to show hospitality to the hurting. Unfortunately, from the church Jay never heard this hope filled message. Maybe for him, our rule message drowned out the love. Who knows? But I do know from Carly he experienced something different. She was his friend.

Why are we so quick to judge? Why are we so quick in our pronunciations about others when the Scriptures clearly call us to “walk humbly with your God.” Surely, part of that humble walk involves recognizing that this life is quite a complicated puzzle. The pieces come in all manner of shapes and sizes and colors. Why is that? It is a mystery. But if we are going to piece together the whole puzzle, if we want to one day see the beauty of the whole picture, we need to be careful to not lose any of the pieces. We have to be committed to not to lose any of the pieces.

We lost Jay. He died, suddenly, tragically, by his own hand. I wept for Jay and for my dear Carly. I felt for his parents, his family, for all who were grieving. Who knows the whole story? Who knows what Jay was thinking? Who knows what he was feeling? Who knows? Surely, only God.

Rev. Clayton Childers
Member of S.C. Conference and director of conference relations, General Board of Church and Society

Publication: South Carolina United Methodist Advocate; Date: September 2014; Page: 5