Tuesday, February 19, 2013

For The Sake Of Lent, All Are Welcome

Typically I post my blogs on my Facebook... where half of my friends are southern baptists and the other half are either lutherans or atheists. So basically if Owen and I are honest about what we think, half will think that we are heathens and the other half will assume that we're dogmatic. Being moderate is always kind of like that.

Owen and I giving Saint Paul a high five
Thus, for the past year, I have much avoided speaking about our faith on this blog. But man, I LOVE lent. Lent would be as good as Christmas if I got to see my family. It's so pure in its avoidance of any secularism whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, I love Santa Clause and Christmas lights, but Lent is different. It's calm, not celebratory. In its quietness it is often forgotten.

Lent is the most reflective and cleansing time of the church calendar, reminiscent of Jesus's forty days in the wild and Israel's forty years in the desert. It is a time to shed all that is not of God from our lives. Thus in the spirit of Lent, I seek to free myself from the fear that has kept me from giving you the whole story.

Here is a real example of what living between two extremes looks like. After President Obama was elected for the second time, my Facebook wall filled with a crazy range of responses. Many people posted things like,
"It makes me so sad that the people of The United States don't care about life."
and many other posted things like,
"Good to see that America actually cares about women and people who are poor now!"

To complicate matters, there are people whom we love and respect on both sides of the coin. That alone is enough to isolate us from those who can't even imagine what it is to respect the other side. Yet, of the many evangelicals, lutherans, muslims, atheists, conservatives and liberals I have shared life with, I find that all experience love for all living beings, compassion, and a deep down fear that they might actually have it all wrong. In that, I would suggest that we all need to have compassion for one another and stop pointing fingers at fellow human beings.

With fear of judgement from both evangelicals and atheists, yet with devotion to our faith, this is us. Our shared desire to be nearer to God is the very root of our marriage. The purity of love is important to us. We also support our brothers, sisters, and gender-confused siblings in the LGBTQIA community, and hope that our musings on marriage will be helpful to them as well, for Jesus says, "It is not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart" (Mark 7:15).

Owen and I have a deep care and respect for the Bible. We have studied it extensively with a genuine desire to know what it has to tell us sans the cultural atmosphere surrounding it. We continue to pray that we will better understand and love God, as God knows Himself(Herself) to be. We also have a healthy respect for the Qua-ran and other sources of love and wisdom. We are of the small and usually unidentified group known as the Religious Left.

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