better life

“Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. ‘I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good–sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for–will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” ~ John 10:6-10

Dear God,

They told me I had to choose:

Between you and having love in my life.

Except they called my love a sin.

And their love righteous

They told me to choose

Between you and having happiness in my life.

Except they called my happiness sin

And their happiness holy.

How can this be anything but good?

How can they tell us we don’t belong in the fold and that Jesus doesn’t love us?

I kiss her, and God, I am in church. It feels like walking on holy ground.

There is a sacredness of holding someone else’s heart in your own.

That is of God and I don’t know how it can be anything less than Good.

They sacrificed my love and happiness for their control and comfort.

For money and power. For money…and power within a sacred space.

The sacred space where God accepts all has somehow been used to cast out.

The sacred space where God accepts all is often not in a church sanctuary for us. . .

But it is often found in the arms of our partners who keep us safe and accept us when the safest spaces promised tell us we do not belong within their walls and hallowed halls.

If Jesus, your Jesus. And also my Jesus…is the Good Shepherd. Isn’t his promise of more and better life for all of us? No one owns Jesus. No one owns the Church.

This Christ who has been here since the beginning would rather associate with those of us you think are not good enough, or too broken, or too…outcast.

I’m pretty sure this Jesus sees us and associates with those of us waving rainbow flags and fighting not to kill ourselves.

He would reject any ideology associated with his name that involves keeping us out.

Dear God. . .

I feel your presence in hallowed halls that are often walled with trees, and the sacred space within the loving arms of my partner.

But the sanctuary I am told I am not holy enough for…that I must give up more for than anyone else…is somehow less sacred if I am with her.

They told me I had to choose–so I choose both. I choose both love of God and the love of my life.

Because heaven forbid I reject the gift that you’ve given–someone to love and who loves me.

I choose Jesus. I also choose her. And I’m not letting go. I choose this beautiful thing called life. Here and now. And in the future. Jesus gave us this freely–“more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” I choose life.

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