I have a gay friend.
I met her at my church of all places. Right off the bat she destroyed all the preconceived notions I had about gay people. She’s very interesting; a very deep thinker. She also has a gift of “comfort” – I don’t know how else to describe it; she makes people feel very comfortable and welcome and she’s very genuine and encouraging. She’s awesome.
I remember, shortly after having dinner with her at our home, that I felt proud that I finally had a gay friend. Doesn’t that sound weird? I was proud. It made me feel good. As crazy as it sounds, I felt it somehow legitimized my Christianity. That somehow it made me more credible as a leader in my church, I guess. I know that’s silly, but I would share with people that I have a “gay friend” and how cool she is and I think, in a roundabout way, I was trying to convince people that I go to a “cool” church and that I’m a “cool” Christian.
But it’s not about being “cool” at all, nor is it about “compromising convictions” or “being accepting of others’ differences”. It’s about loving your neighbor as yourself.
My “gay friend” is no longer my “gay friend”. She’s just my friend, and I’m really glad she’s in my life.
So today’s comic strip is aimed squarely at me, you guys. Friends are better than trophies. Sad that I still have to be reminded of that from time to time.