What has troubled me this past week has been the response of far too many so-called Christians, and even those who are called forth to be leaders in the Christian community to this public announcement. Over the course of the last week, I have come across blog posts or articles that have had titles like, “How Christians should respond to Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner” and some of them have even begun with some hope, but they have quickly descended into something that makes me question how anyone could ever think that these are Christian responses to anything. …The response that Christians REALLY should have is this: Be people of prayer – pray for Caitlyn and people like her who find themselves in what has to be a very difficult situation. Pray that they experience God’s presence in their struggle. Be people of compassion – this is a very good general rule for us followers of Christ, by the way. The world needs our presence to be one of kind compassion. Let’s not be quick to judge. Imagine if we were as quick to offer compassion as we are to offer condemnation. Be people who listen – imagine what we can learn by listening to the experiences of other people; these experiences that are so very different, perhaps, than our own. Listening helps us to learn, it helps us to become more compassionate, it helps us to see the other as a person. Be open and welcoming – imagine the difference we could make in people’s lives if they felt closer to God, closer to Christ, closer to the Church by feeling as though they were welcome in our midst, welcome to be part of our life of prayer and community. Pope Francis said just yesterday, “The Eucharist is not the prize for the strong.” Imagine the benefits of a full sacramental life for people in struggle. Be who we are called to be – that’s the heart of it. They will know we are Christians by our love. Unfortunately, especially in the public sphere, that doesn’t seem to be what we show. I know how loving our Christian communities are. I was formed by them. I live in them and I thrive in them. I want the rest of the world, especially those who need us, to know this too. Let’s show them how we love. I’ll give you one blog post that did have a good answer, “Jesus wasn’t the one to turn away from those the world had labeled broken. He was the one who would walk towards them with open arms.”
There’s much more. Read it all.