sentences of despair...
Working at a Christian summer camp is an incredibly cool part of my life. It is also the most challenging, painful, and tiring part of my life.
Every day of the summer I have the opportunity to sit with the fourteen and fifteen year old girls and discuss topics like: identity, gender, race, family, sexuality and family/fatherlessness. Light topics like that.
This summer my desire was to intentionally lean into the gender discussion. Not because I have any wealth of wisdom in this area, but because it is such a current topic for teens and the church is fairly silent. We always have a healthy amount of dialogue around sexuality, but gender can fly under the radar.
I wanted to share just some of the sentences I heard throughout the course of the summer.
They were painful to listen to.
Most came with choked tears after hours spent talking.
They filled the room that we met with absolute silence.
They moved me.
I hope they move you to begin some thinking.
My desire in the coming weeks is to unpack not only the sentences, but what we, as believing adults, can press into.
Here they are unfiltered:
“Do you think that Christians like you (me), well not exactly like you because you are different, could ever love someone like me who is bisexual?”
“When I came out to my aunt who is a Christian, she told me that God would never love me because I’m gay.”
“My family told me that because I was gay I was going to hell, but that doesn’t seem to be what you think?”
“Are you saying that if I am always gay God could still love me?”
“Did God create me this way (transgender) and then hate me?”
“It makes me so sad to think that God won’t ever accept me. I am just so sad.”
“I don’t understand why God says that we should love our neighbor but then He hates gay people?”
“My family makes me wear dresses and have long hair because they hate how I am (transgender), but I hate myself like this.”
“I never take this hoodie off because I feel safe with it around me.”
Do not just breeze through them.
Each one was said by a young woman just wanting someone to hear and work to understand and care.
How will we, the adults of the evangelical church respond and reach into these lives?