When Our Love is Conditional



Why do you love me?  Do you love me for my me-ness, or for the me you think I ought to be?

Would you love and care for me if my quest for my me-ness led me out beyond the boundaries of labels and compartments, outside the church walls, beyond the narrow-road living we used to spur each other along?

Would you still love me if I left the word "Christian" behind to step more ever deeply into the excruciating, exquisite mystery of the God-Man and his gospels? Into the femininity of divinity?

This is what crosses my mind more and more and more, what I silently ask of others as I wrestle out what feels true and holy.  Three decades I've breathed in the winds of this world and yet still I do not know who I am, and I am tired of living by everyone else's description.  I want the wild and untamed self, just as I want the earth-smudged savior(ess). 

I have been so very loved by the souls we share circles with.  So very, very loved.  That love has been a saving force, has been one of many buoys that God threw me when I was floundering in the tear-salted ocean, drowning. 

But

I wonder (I fear) if now that the very growing that was born of the buoys, the growing that is stripping me of all safe definitions, is the growing that will lose me the friendship of of all.  Not because they have said so or demonstrated so (mostly), but because I see it happening in our culture, in our church.  I see it in the cheering of homophobia and racism.  I see it in the droves of customers eager to take a stand against perceived immorality by consuming righteous chicken, not realizing that they are boycotting their own humanity, while their flesh and blood gay brethren are force-fed steaming shame and hatred and you-are-not-worth-loving.  I see it in how the way we live contradicts that way that Jesus lived.

We have a history of hating each other.  We have a history of hating other and different and not us.

And so when I find my{self} changing, shifting, outgrowing her old skin and sloughing it off, I have to wonder if I will be seen as other and written off as a sad story of falling away and rebellion.

Is your love conditional on the category you can sort me into?  Will you value our friendship, our sister flesh and human blood, over toeing the line that someone else has drawn for us?  If I howl at the moon, will you acknowledge the freedom I have to choose to do so?  Will you howl with me, or come at me with a muzzle, "for my own good"?  

Will you love me if you can't "save" me?

I fear the answer to these questions.  I fear the loss that may come.  But even more than these terrors, I fear living asleep for a single second more. 

 

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