Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday thoughts...about labels and acceptance

So, if you are a regular, you know that on Sundays I do a sort of weekly wrap up of things I have read or seen that have touched me in some way. Usually I have more than one thing to share. Not this week. This week I am afraid I am going to get on my soap box a bit. This week I read something that grabbed hold of me and will not let go. So, I am going to share. It's controversial. I just want to warn you. I may end up offending you. I hope not. I hope you will be touched by this as I have been and that my opinions on it will make some sort of a small difference in the world. But if not, please, just click away. I don't want to have a debate with anyone. We are all entitled to believe as we choose, to see the world in whatever light we choose. I can agree to disagree, it won't affect how I view you (or myself). I just really need to share this, to go on record in my small corner of the world.

Okay, that was your warning....moving on.

This week I found a new blog. Some of you may have already found this guy, he has a pretty huge following. Still being fairly new to the blogging (and blog reading) world, I had no idea this man existed. Dan Pearce writes the blog "Single Dad Laughing". Mostly he writes about life, the ups and downs and twists and turns. He is pretty funny, so I hear. The first post I read, the one that introduced me, was not funny. It was heartbreaking. It was titled Anything Other than Straight. The title alone should tell you where we are headed here. This week Dan came out as a bisexual. He admitted to the world that he is attracted to both men and women. But it was so much more than that. Because that alone is not enough, at least not to me. Frankly, I am not that concerned about Dan Pearce's sexual preferences. Or yours for that matter. I have a really strong "live and let live" inclination. I have mentioned this a time or 2 in this blog, I am sure. I just don't see how some things are any of my business.

What grabbed me, what had me sitting at my computer reading with tears running down my face, was the fear. Dan used this phrase over and over again: "Dear God, please don't let me be anything other than straight". He describes spending the better part of his life fighting this part of himself, denying his feelings. Denying an essential part of who he is. And being afraid. Afraid of how the world will see him, label him, judge him. Afraid of how this will change how his family and friends see him. He talks about the fear of no longer being seen as Dan. Of being only seen as a bisexual man. Because that is, after all, only part of who he is.

Okay, let me get out my soapbox now (where did I put that thing?? Oh, here it is, right under my feet!). Labels are wrong. We all use them. I have a gay friend or 2, and I have been known to refer to them as such (and I truly owe them a sincere apology for that. Because they are so much more to me than just gay). I am "the crazy cat lady" or "that crazy *insert expletive here*". Labels are easy. Sometimes they can be funny and harmless. But they are also another form of judgement. And judging others is wrong. In fact, it's a sin.

Generally I don't like to talk about sin. Sin is a deeply personal thing for me. I know what the bible teaches about sin. I know the labels found there. But I also know that Jesus came to release us from it. To remove the stain, or in other words, the labels that define us as anything less than clean, forgiven children of God. And I feel strongly that I have no right to judge the sins of another person. I have enough to worry about right here inside of me.

Here is what I believe, in a nutshell. My job as a believer is really simple. To love. To be a reflection of God's love to the people around me. Sin and judgement are above my pay grade. They are not my job.

That's it. So, when I read Dan's post, it broke my heart. Not just for him, but for all the people like him. I don't mean bisexual people. I mean people. People living in fear of judgement from the world around them. For whatever reason. Sexuality, faith, skin color, hair color, mental illness (an issue of mine), disability, weight (mine too).....the list goes on and on. Really, don't we all have a secret part of ourselves that is afraid of being judged and found wanting? Don't we all fear a label of some sort?

I don't care about anyone's sexuality. I don't care about anyone's sin. I care about people.

I hope you will go read Dan's whole post. And no matter where you stand on the issue of his sexuality, I hope you will look past that and see what I saw. Because I saw a piece of myself, fighting to come out of the dark and fearing that the world will not like me, will not accept me. I look at Dan and I see me, and you; all of us. God loves us each for who we are. No labels, no judgement. Just love and forgiveness.

The next time I open my mouth and a label slips out,  give me a (gentle) nudge and remind me that I am wrong. That I need to repent and look, really look at the person or situation. And I need to leave the judgement to the one who paid the price I could never pay.

 And Dan, if you ever read this, you have a faithful reader here for as long as you have words to write. If I don't agree with you, that's okay. I really like your courage, your strength, and even your fear. Your fear made me look deep into my own soul this week and question myself. It made me have a long talk with God and it humbled me. Thank you for that. :-)

To the rest of you, thanks for stopping by. I hope this post makes you think. I hope it touches you in some way. And I really hope you still like me and will come back and visit soon.


  1. Wow. I just found your blog through GBE2, and I'm glad I did. This is so well written and heartfelt, and you are so right. I have a nephew and a niece with so-called "gender issues," and it makes no difference in who they are to me and my love for them. It shouldn't to anyone else, either. God made us all the way we are, and it's so sad that some people can't accept themselves because they're afraid other people won't accept them. I'm going to read Dan's post, and I'll definitely be back here! Thanks for giving us all something to think about.

    1. thank you so much. I'm glad you stopped by and left a comment. I was nervous about this post, so it's nice to know someone "gets" it.

  2. Great blog entry Tamara. This is something (the labels and judgement) that I have tried to work on with myself and this has challenged me to work harder. Thank you, Aimee

    1. As always, Thank you! I can always count on you to stop by and read my posts.

  3. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. "My job as a believer is really simple. To love. To be a reflection of God's love to the people around me. Sin and judgement are above my pay grade. They are not my job." I love this quote. I want to make this into one of those quote squares so I can pin it and share it.
    There are days I worry about being judged because I am Christian, not because of my beliefs, but because I do not want to be equated with the hateful judgement behavior I see so often.

    1. First, if you know how to make one of those pins, you are way ahead of me! :-)
      I am a sort of collector of quotes, so just the thought that someone might want to "collect" mine is pretty neat. Thanks for that.
      And you hit the nail on the head yourself with you last line. It is a sad day when Christians are worried about being called believers. We have to stand up, to let the world know that not all believers practice such cruel judgement. We have to proclaim the GOOD NEWS. Not the "sins" of others.

      Oh dear, I am on my soapbox again. Really, I need to throw that thing out! Anyway, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I am grateful!

  4. Found you through Dan's FB page! Great post. It's amazing how many times we judge without truly realizing it, isn't it? I love Dan because he never fails to make me question my view on life and the way I live it! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I am definitely a fan of Dan's now. I have been going back and reading his old posts, he is very funny and insightful!
      Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment!


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