Grandpas in Darrington
Mar 9, 2007
Two retired men attended my book talk this week in Darrington, Washington. Both had been in the military. One remembered a soldier getting 20 years in the brig for getting caught in a homosexual act. The other remembered warnings to watch out for gay men. In their retirement one of them has a gay grandson, "a wonderful young man." Still, this grandpa struggles with acceptance, "the only way to accept homosexuality is to throw out the Good Book."
The other retired man is a counselor. He'd seen an article in the paper about the presentation and driven over from Granite for the evening. "I've counseled dozens of gay and lesbian people. It's remarkable to see a pastor speaking up for gay and lesbian equality." A wonderful evening ensued — speaking into respectful differences and common understandings. Lots of laughter, too. New connections. Thanks to George and Bridget and the Darrington Library for arranging the evening.
This weekend I preach at First Lutheran Church in St. Peter, Minnesota. They're in the process of discerning whether to proclaim themselves a "Reconciling in Christ" congregation- a publicly welcoming place for LGBT people. Monday and Tuesday I have talks at Gustavus College and then a presentation at Augsburg College in Minnesota on Tuesday evening (6:30 p.m. in the Science Building, room 123).
I'm thinking this week of the difference between coming in as "the invited one," as opposed to the recent experience of "intruding" and sueing our city to enforce its building size cap. More to the point, the Equality Bus riders are underway. Already one of the buses has been defaced as they motor their equality message onto campuses that discriminate against gay and lesbian students. (www.soulforce.org). More to the point, Indiana either has or is close to adopting a ban on same-sex marriage. Seven states have recently done so. And to the point again, my Washington state is expanding its domestic partnership rights. Individuals, each working from their own place, weave these tapestries of more good and less good.
Dad keeps encouraging me to the center. Others prompt me toward biblical literalism. Still others invite me to a deeper activism. I'll keep working on my place. Blessings in the work of living in your place.