I’ve been absent from here for a few days. I’ve been struggling to find the words to put here. The words to say how I am feeling.
I don’t know that I’ve found them to their fullest extent, but I’m giving it a shot. I don’t go political here very often. So I’m going to do my best to keep this completely from the heart.
Imagine that you are a young, teenaged person. Gender really doesn’t matter in this story. You have begun high school, a most difficult time for the better majority of teenagers. Your body is changing, your mind is growing. There are any given variety of temptations at your fingertips. The world is flowing around you but you are stuck in an endless rut. Something doesn’t feel quite right. You don’t fit in, but in different ways than most others. You can’t put a finger on it. You just muddle through each day. You skip the rites of passage like prom because, really, it doesn’t make any sense to you. You tell yourself that you need to focus on studying and getting good grades to get into college.
You graduate and move on to that first glimpse of freedom that college offers its newcomers. You don’t really fit in there either but it’s easier to blend. Nearly everyone is just a little odd, especially in their freshman year. You find your niche and expand your comfort zone. Then out of nowhere someone catches your eye. Someone you can’t help but be attracted to. Someone who makes your heart stop. You resist at first, wondering what you’re getting yourself into. Eventually you give in because you just can’t fight what your heart is longing for. And when you do give in? Well, amazing just is far to simple of a word for the feelings that you encounter. Your world is complete in that moment.
You leave college and start your lives together. You find jobs and move into a career. That itch, that longing starts to set in. You are no longer complete. You long for little hands and little arms to reach up and hold you. Little eyes that gaze at you with nothing but love. You have that conversation that many couples have. There is never a “right” time to fill that need but you determine the best possible time. You try for your family. And soon, there is a little person. Ten fingers, ten toes and the cutest button nose. And you feel complete all over again.
Surely you can see the picture. It describes so many lives, so many dreams.
Like ripples through the pond after a rock has been thrown in, the dream vanishes. Reality sets in when your child asks you why you aren’t married to his other parent. You struggle for an answer. How do you explain that simply loving someone isn’t enough, not when you are a family like ours? How do you explain that someone, somewhere, decided that marriage has a definition that doesn’t include the family you live in? How to you explain that someone read the Bible, the same Bible that your child has been taught, and found your family wanting, not really a family?
Is it not enough that you have to speak quietly of your family in most walks of life for fear of being judged, fear of being treated differently? Is it not enough to know that you can still be fired from your job, that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a reality, even if they say it isn’t? Is it not enough to know that with as many children as there are in this world longing for homes your home may be found unfit because of the type of family that you are? Is it not enough to know that if your home is found fit or a child is naturally born into a family, both parents will likely not have equal rights to a child because of the way the law is stated? Is it not enough to know that you are not allowed to take a leave for our significant other should they become ill or pass away, after all the relationship is not real? Is it not enough to know that Jesus stated in the Ten Commandments that we should “love thy neighbor as thyself”?