“The Healing Power of Love” (Part 3) – “Listening for Love” by Ann Reddecliffe
On the darkest night of my life, I learned that God loved me.
I hated myself, I believed that God hated me, my self-respect and sense of self-worth were gone. My life hung by the thinnest of thin threads and I had nothing left.
In that night, God managed to get through all the pain and just enfolded me in love. As I watched the dawn on a day I never expected to see, I had hope for the first time in a very long time. The Church may not love me, but God did. God loved me just as I was.
There is only one ‘God is…’ statement in the Bible and it is this one, that God is love. We know that for a certainty.
So, when I hear people going on about sexuality or gender, I don’t look at how big the cross is round their neck or what type of collar they are wearing, I listen for the love in their words. If there is no love, then their words are not of God. It has helped me to deal with some of the really nasty things that I hear and have to deal with.
God calls us to love and when we love, we are closest to God. We are called to love those who God gives us to love. Anyone who denies us the right to love does not know God the way we do.
Being gay in the church can be a hard road to travel, but it means staying close to God and trying, day by day, to live in love.
For God is love.
Gracious God, thank you that you love me just as I am. Help me to speak your message of love, inclusion and affirmation to all those who feel excluded from our churches. Give each of us the strength to follow the path you have given us.