Happy Monday, Friends!
There is a deep human need to be wanted, to have a place to belong and feel accepted. We know this through our own experiences as well as through the experiences of others. Recently, my sister sent me a short video of her son—my nephew Jack—saying “Bubba!” (his name for me) “I need him!” All week Jack told different people that he wanted to see Uncle Bubba and even though he wasn’t in the best mood on Friday, he cuddled up next to me and watched TV.
The power of connection is incredibly strong, so too is the trauma when that connection is broken or abused. I recently read a heartbreaking article by Joyce Calvo* the mother of Alana Chen who died by suicide in 2019 after being subjected to conversion “therapy” meant to “treat” and “cure” her identity as a lesbian by members of the Roman Catholic clergy. When leaders and individuals call on us to be out of connection with the people closest to us, we experience trauma. Church leaders have often advised the parents of LGBTQIA+ people to cut contact with their Queer children or to pepper them with criticism and calls to “change.” Chen was pressured to not come out to her parents because they might be affirming. Let us call these efforts what they are: sin.
Take a deep breath. These stories, these interactions are raw for many of us. Either we have been the LGBTQIA+ person or we have been the parent. But I still return to something I often say, LOVEboldly is in the business of saving lives. How can we…how can you be a person who saves lives? How can you call people into connection and belonging?
Let us pray: Gracious God, give us the intelligence and the courage to always call people into connection and into belonging with us. Grant us the good sense not to fail those we love and those who count on us. In all things let us be people with welcoming hearts. In your son’s name we pray. Amen.
Blessings, friends, on your week! Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
*With an appropriate content warning for discussions of suicide, you can read Calvo’s article here: https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/my-daughter-was-gay-catholic-who-died-suicide-heres-how-church-must-protect-lgbtq