The Corner Office
Water from a Rock - Prayers for Bobby (and us)
I am finally sitting down to read em>Prayers for Bobby, a book recommended to me by one of our UIC students. This book is all the more poignant for me now because we are gearing up for a counter-celebration next Monday when the anti-gay (anti-everything) group Westboro Baptist Church comes to visit. I have only read through the introduction of the book, but one paragraph already struck me.
Leroy Aarons writes about a California family, the Griffiths, who lost their gay son to suicide.
"I came to realize that this was a story not of brute rejection, but of ignorance. The surviving Griffiths love one another with an intensity that few families can match. It became clear to me they had loved Bobby with that same magnitude, and he them. Most gay suicides occur among youngsters who were disowned by their families-cast out and cut off. One of the ironies of this story is that the Griffiths acted from love. What they lacked was information and comprehension, and any knowledge of how to go about getting them." (pg. 5)
As we continue themes of grief and suffering this Lent, let us also include those suffering from and due to a lack of information and comprehension (including ourselves). In your meditations, ask yourself what then are we called to do about it. Agape House has decided that we are going to hold a public affirmation of God's love the same day Westboro comes by. We do not intend to attack or even drown out Westboro. We hope to pierce at least one bubble of ignorance enclosing an unknown, questioning, closeted UIC LGBTQI student.
We hope to affirm that God indeed loves them, and there are churches and communities who accept them for who they are as valuable and gifted children of God. May this time of Lent also empower you to combat ignorance and the suffering it leads to, in whatever ways the Spirit leads you.