Friday, January 30, 2009

The Human Factor

I'm passing along a quote from an excelent blog called "Friends of Jake"(http://friends-of-jake.blogspot.com/2009/01/catholic-follies.html). IT is a contributer to the blog and was recently married in CA before Proposition 8 was passed in California:


" I cried today. Stupid. I was at my dentist's (he's a friend and came to our wedding) and he cheerfully said, "How's married life treating you?" and I replied, waaay too seriously, "good for as long as it lasts," and then he wanted to know about the court case, and if we'd heard whether our marriage would last, and when we would KNOW, and how we are doing, etc etc and I had to go through it all again.I walked out to the car afterwards and got in and cried tears of anger and frustration--not at my dear dentist, but at feeling I'm living betwixt and between, unresolved, at being A Thing whose fate is decided by courts and how the PropH8 people took my euphoric feeling that finally I was a Real Married Person with a real place in society, like everyone else, and they threw me back into the gutter and kicked me back into being an unwanted outsider.And then I dried my eyes and went to work and tried, yet again, to get past it."



Too many times we don't realize who we hurt when we send others to the fringes of society because they are different. We forget what the evangelion, the "good news" that the term evangelist comes from really is. If my more secular friends will bear with me, I'd like to expound on something as an example of what Jesus risked in his life and ministry...



Twice in the Gospels, both in Mark 5 and Luke 8, we are told of the story of Jesus and the "woman who had been suffering from hemmorages for 12 years". While I had heard this story as a young pup, I always focused on the miracle of healing. I never concidered the plight of the poor woman.



This woman's "hemmorages" are more than likely related to her menstrual cycle, and Leviticus 15 states that not only was she "unclean" but anyone or anything that came in contact with her was also unclean. Now put yourself in her shoes for a moment. There you are, having been less than a person for 12 years. You have been cast to the fringes because of something that is not your fault, and yet people are convinced your sins made you this way. No one will accept you, love you or even speak to you out of fear of becoming "unclean" themselves. You are not a person, not a member of the community. Sound familiar?



IT's plight unfortunately is not an isolated incident. Like the woman mentioned above, she has been thrown to the wayside. However, it isn't because of a disease or ailment. She and her love, and millions of others, are treated as less than human simply because of who they are. And yet we treat them in the same way the woman above was. As less than human. Is this what Christ wants?



In the story, simply touching Jesus heals the woman. The scripture says that she felt it "inside" that she was healed. We should be offering this same healing. Not of changing someone's orientation, but of healing the wounds that WE have inflicted. Rev Ed Bacon of All Saints, Pasedena started this with his radical words on Oprah. The Dioces of New Hampshire started this by electing V. Gene Robinson as their bishop. Our own small church in Bentonville started this by accepting all people and their children. This is the message of the Gospel. This is the "evangelion" that we are to proclaim! The term "evangelist" derives from this greek word. So by anlogy, to "evangelize" is to spread this good news, best described by the Dean of the Episcopal Cathederal in San Diego, "Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here. Whether you are passing through, or this is the beginning of a longer relationship, welcome. You are today part of our family."

4 comments:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Thank you for saying this. It still needs to be heard.

Counterlight said...

Splendid post. I think you are absolutely right about the woman and how her story applies to all we arbitrarily deem "unclean."

IT said...

Excellent, AH, and thank you for your sensitivity.

isn't it REv Ed Bacon (All Saints Pasadena) who was on Oprah, not the estimable Bp Bruno? Or did Bp Bruno also appear?

Arkansas Hillbilly said...

I think you're right, IT, I'll correct it forthwith...