For the month of July, I'm working with the Youth Theological Initiative (YTI) at Emory University. The program brings students between their junior and senior years in high school together for a one month session of fellowship, classes, and theology with a little service and fun thrown in.
It's an intense month. Relationship are created quickly, and they run deep. Stories are told alongside personal experiences, and soon we are swimming in a sea of humanity--and realizing that something must be connecting us all.
I recently had one of these experiences. I shared with some scholars (what we call the kids who come) about my experience as a gay Christian. At one point in our discussion, I stated my belief that "loving someone is never the wrong answer."
Here is part of a note that one wrote to me about that time together:
To truly love someone is to want them to be happy and fulfilled with their lives, without any regard to your own happiness or comfort. To see love as such a pure emotion is to actually understand what Jesus did for us. As Christians we often just say things about love loosely, but today everything has become clear, love is the most powerful emotion and decision we can ever experience and that LOVE should never be conditioned, it should be given to everyone just like Jesus did.
So why are we so fixated about an issue like homosexuality, whether God approves of it or not, whether we should tell them its wrong or not, if a person can touch so many young people simply by singing such a beautiful song that complimented the breeze, the grass, the trees, and just reminded us a little bit, of God's creation and how he uses us in different ways? Put simply, how [God] loves us infinitely.
These kids, they amaze me.