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  • Writer's pictureRoddy Biggs

The Path of Love - A God Who is Love -

Growing up as queer in the south and being raised in a Christian household, I often felt God was not one to be loved but one to be feared. I believed that if I did not fear God, then I could not be saved, and I could not love myself or others. 'Yet today, when I read, I see the words from the Gospel of 1 John 4:8, "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." That's a new one, a God who is Love. Over a weekend in January, I attended a conference for Queer Christians in DC, and wow: Did I need that. The conference theme was Liberated to Love, and our sacred text that was shared daily was Isaiah 61:1-4: This text speaks a powerful message that, as that queer Christian kid in the south, was one of those I often felt was used to oppress me:

As a queer mixed-race kid growing up in the south, I knew the struggle was real. Too white for that group, too Black for another, too queer for that one, and not queer enough for others. The Text of Isaiah says

1, “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD [LOVE] is on me because the LORD [LOVE] has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. They sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s [LOVE’s] favor and the day of vengeance of our God, [Love] to comfort all who mourn.”

I had to mourn who I thought I was and felt I had to mourn my Christian faith when Coming Out as queer and being a UU. In some ways, I did, but I have learned that to mourn is not to forget or let go of fully if parts of it still speak to and inspire me. Isaiah goes on to say:

3, “ I provide for those who grieve — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD {a Love] for the display of their splendor.”

Today still that queer Christian in the south on a path toward ministry, I accept the crown of beauty instead of ashes and the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Go and a radically inclusive Christian faith is my Path to Love, and there are many Paths. What's yours?

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