Last night, working in the emergency department we had a woman maybe in her seventy’s come in with her forty year old son. To look at him you would never guess he was forty. He looked older than his mother, he was thin, gaunt and literally wasting away. He didn’t have to say a word, you could see pain, suffering, shame and guilt written all over him. He was in the end stages of AIDS. Ravaged by the disease, he was severly dehydrated and dying of malnutrition…and his mom wasn’t coping with it all.
Around her neck, I could see she was wearing a cross, so I asked her if she was a part of a church and if she was getting help and being supported there. At this point it was as if I had touched an open wound. Tears started to stream down her face. Handing her some Kleenex she told me, no, that she couldn’t tell anyone about her son.
Even if it is not blatantly obvious, it is overt…maybe in her church, tucked in the corner you can see it …judgement. This lady knew it. Homosexuality she has been told is a sin, and it will be judged, and AIDS is the consequence, the earthly judgement. If that’s not bad enough her son still has the eternal torment of hell to face yet. And, of course this judgement I’m sure in her mind is partly about her. I mean, homosexuality is a choice…perhaps if she was a better parent her sons outcome would have been much better.
Who is ” this Jesus ” that many churches worship…I do not see him anywhere in the gospels ?
And, all the time tumbling around in my mind is this image of Jesus…hanging out with the most marginalized in the world. Somehow, he always seemed to be in the midst of sick, the blind, and crippled beggars…those possessed by demons. He touched the lepers, he kissed and healed them. He touched prostitutes, he came to their rescue…they washed his feet with tears and perfume.
And here is this woman whose gay son is dying of AIDS and there is no one in her church that she can tell. I think, I know Jesus would embrace and love this man without any judgement…and then I see a church, the body of Christ unwilling to move it’s legs, to wrap its arms around this young man…or to move its lips and kiss him.
I know some one is going to say the trite, ” love the sinner, hate the sin.” Sorry, I’m gonna have to cry bull shit on that one. You can’t love and judge at the same time…that is a very tainted kind of love. Jesus says we are to simply love…the way he did. The gospels are permeated with this kind of radical scandalous redemptive love. Can we please just learn to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and LOVE till it kills us…a love that you sacrifice everything for.