I just found this video on Facebook, from Shannon of Finding Grace Within. For those of you who do not know Shannon, she is a Catholic prison chaplain in Washington state; her constituents are men. File under, Find God There. She is remarkable.
Anyway, Shannon recommended watching this and in the 4 minutes that it took to watch I went from curious to weeping copiously. And wanting to share this.
This young man, Michael Huerta, is so hopeful. His hope is a reaching out to the less hopeful, a reminder that if you can just hang on.
We punish a lot of people with our words and all the negative imagery of sexual orientation. And I think that this pushes people of other orientations to extremes sometimes (note – SOMETIMES, not all times) and that has other folks complaining about things like “flamboyance.”
Don’t get me started on flamboyance. I may have to smack you upside your anti-flamboyant head. Flamboyant friends saved my life. I wasn’t suicidal but I felt terminally unlovable. It was LGBT friends, men in particular, who taught me to fall in love with myself and to be who I truly am. It was many of these same friends that were foundational in my return to the Roman Catholic church 20 years ago.
We can judge or we can love. I hate the sanctimonious “hate the sin but not the sinner talk.” Love the sinner – which is all of us in case you haven’t noticed – and the sins likely to be expiated.
That may be because we unchain those held down by our judgments each time we love instead of judge.
Trust me – I’m talking to myself too, for all the people I judge for things other than sexual orientation.
Anyway, this young man has a message for us all. It is the most Christian message of all and that is the message of hope.
Christian or not, lack hope and you lack life. It is that simple. Someone I know often reminds me that he lacks the faith that the next Kleenex will pop out of the box. He may lack the faith, but I know that he has hope. Faith without works is dead; faith without hope is a lie.
Happy Birthday Michael Huerta. Happy Hope to all of us.