Not a lot of you know me in real life, some of you do but not the majority of you readers. I’m getting to a place where I need to be, all the puzzle pieces are laid out and it’s assembly time! 🙂 With that being said, part of my plans (despite the proverb of How do you make God laugh? Make plans) includes doing what I can to help cultivate an inclusive to all body of believers out in Southern California, an environment that is loving and accepting of all of God’s children, including the LGBT community. I also desire to see where I can help out in Skid Row Los Angeles, whether by feeding individuals or some other tangible way, I want to get involved.
So where does my sense of social justice come from? Well if I think about it long and hard I would have to say it was instilled in me by my parents. Back in the early 1980s my parents decided that Aurora IL was lacking a facility for assisting mothers in their months of pregnancy, there was an abortion clinic, but there wasn’t much else. Fast forward to 1985, when my parents and 2 other couples started the Pregnancy Information Center, a place where women could come and receive counseling, to help them determine options for their unborn child, and even though the technology isn’t where it is now, they also helped women determine if they were pregnant.
My memories of PIC came primarily by being a presence in various parades that would happen in Aurora. We’d be wearing shirts that said CHOOSE LIFE across them and hand out info to parents and (I think) candy to children. I also remember protesting outside of the abortion clinic, not yelling at mothers but just being a witness outside on the sidewalk (public property), to which I’m told I saved my parents from being arrested when I was a baby on a few occasions.
Since opening up in 1985, PIC has expanded and the local abortion clinic has closed down. My parents aren’t leading up PIC anymore but their legacy remains upon Aurora IL.
Now my sense of social and communal justice isn’t the same as my parents, but I have the same drive to change something that desperately needs to be fixed. Jesus’ words of “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me” (Matt. 26:11) drive me, motivate me and honestly sometimes haunt me. Being accepting, loving and affirming of the LGBT community has been a journey that’s only 6 years old and there’s still a lot that needs to be done.
Helping out the homeless in my area has rekindled my love for Aurora IL (I wrote about it here), I primarily have done this by helping out at a local soup kitchen that meets at a local church. I’m still thinking of ways I can be more involved in this particular area of social justice, I don’t want to reveal what my next step in this is but God willing I am able to get it off the ground sooner than later.
I already know that while laws of the land may change, people to some degree will still remain the same. In regards to building bridges between the Christian community and the LGBT community I will continue to be a part of my local chapter of PFLAG, but now I have a new outlet… Andrew Marin and The Marin Foundation have a DVD series and a curriculum based off Andrew’s book Love is an Orientation and it is about bridge building. Andrew’s my hero and I believe in what he and The Marin Foundation does.
The social justice my parents instilled in me is different, but the reasons why are quite similar; bringing about restoration and reconciliation, restoring the perfect shalom that once existed…this is Kingdom of God work, and I want to be a part of it!