Opening the Door
by Lori Heine
There is as much dissension in the Church as there is outside of it. Sometimes even other LGBT Christians can judge us harshly. We are too gay, or we’re not gay enough. We don’t do this right, or our thinking on that is wrong. We tend to tear at each other like piranhas in bloody water.
We’ve absorbed so much guilt and shame from the society around us, simply because we’re LGBT, that we want to feel good about something. According to the world’s standards, in order for people to feel good about themselves, they must outdo others somehow. It is inevitable that such thinking seeps in, no matter how much we try to keep it out. We are made to fear God’s Judgment, when in reality that is far less scary than the judgment of other people. When the time comes for that final reckoning, we may wonder why we feared it, when it turns out to be something we could have looked forward to instead.
Jesus tried to set our hearts at ease about the question of who belongs and who doesn’t. About whom God loves and whom God doesn’t. God loves and accepts all who will welcome Him. Jesus promises, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20, NIV)
Elsewhere in Scripture, we hear that the world will know us by our love for one another (John 13:35). It will also know of God’s love by our love for those in the world. There may be no way they will hear of it if we do not tell them. As we have been accepted, so we must embrace those who don’t know God loves them – gathering them with us into God’s embrace.
God loves us – all of us – because that’s Who God is. There is no harsh standard we need to measure up to. Everyone belongs. Jesus didn’t say He would only knock on some people’s doors, but not on others’.
Those whose judgment of us is harsh need to be helped to understand this. We need not accept their judgment of us as God’s. And, by loving them without judgment, we can help them to recognize God’s unconditional love in us. The only way human beings can come to understand love is by experiencing it.
I believe that the Final Judgment will be something very different from the way the fire-and-thunder preachers portray it. That Jesus will welcome each of us into His lap, as a child of God. He will explain to us what our lives have meant, and help us to make sense of them. And He will assure us that He will never leave us. That now – at last – we have come home.
God has an endless capacity for love – simply because of Who God is. All we need to do is open our door. Once Jesus comes in, He will take care of the rest.
© 2012 Lori Heine
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