Life around the farm is pretty simple, and to be honest Cowboy and I just don’t watch the news much because it’s a whole lot of drama, and if you know one thing about Cowboy, it’s that drama is definitely not his thing. But lately some of the crazy talk is just a bit too hard to ignore. Frankly, I think it’s time we take a lesson from some of our animal friends.
A couple of things to know about me and Cowboy. First, we are not political. We are the live and let let live sort. I’ve always liked the quote that your rights end where my nose begins, although a Google search to see who first said this leads to over a million results and a whole other debate. Secondly, we are Christians. That’s right, church-going, creationist-believing, gospel-music-listening Christians. (Okay, the gospel music thing is mostly me.) Do you think you have a picture of us in your heads? Have you labeled us yet? Let me throw you a curve ball. One of my very best friends is gay.
Why does this matter? It’s something that has been on my heart a lot lately, and to be honest, as Christians, I think we can do better. For whatever reason, a fraction of Christians have decided that is okay to call out gay people, to condemn them, and now in Arizona refuse them service. Now I don’t want to get into a whole debate throwing Bible verses around about what is right and what is wrong, but there is one thing that as a Christian I undoubtedly know is right. Jesus called us to love one another, to love our neighbor as ourselves. As Cowboy recently said, “It’s our job as Christians to love and help people. We aren’t asked to be the judge or the jury. God will take care of that.” Have I mentioned that I just adore Cowboy?
Enter my animal friends. You see, we’ve got all sorts of critters on the farm. And they are all a little different and they all have their quirks. But most importantly we love them all and they love us. We’ve got a dog who is a little too large (and yes it’s her thyroid). We’ve had a dog who was deaf and losing her eyesite. We’ve got horses who are deemed mutts by some, as they have no pedigree. We’ve got a donkey who still doesn’t trust us no matter how hard we try. We’ve got one horse who blows at everything, another who can’t leave anything alone, and another one that requires special food and minimal dust for her allergies. But they all work it out. They accept each other, despite their differences they enjoy their life at Wild Horse Valley.
As far as I’m concerned, we all have our differences. My point is simply this, if we all want to get along there is just no sense in focusing on a handful of things to get so wound up about. Someday I believe we will all stand before God, and when He asks me, “Were you kind? Did you love your neighbor?” I want to be able to answer a resounding, “Yes.” Not, “Well, everyone but people who were not like me.”
You see, I grew up in a judgey-pants kind of church. There was no dancing, no going to movies, no secular music. And we had rules. Boy did we ever have rules. But what we didn’t have was a sense of service for helping others. It was missing. (Don’t get me wrong, there was some good stuff too, but this is what is stamped on my childhood brain.)
So why do you ask am I still in church? Because I know that those rules, that crazy environment was made up of mankind, and in general we humans have an amazing ability to screw things up. My faith, my belief is in Jesus and God. My focus is on being the best person I can be. That means loving my neighbor, and my dear sweet friend. He and his partner are welcome in our home anytime. Cowboy and I appreciate their friendship.
There really is nothing to be scared of. My friend has never asked me or Cowboy to be gay, he’s never thought we were odd for not being gay, and we’ve never caught any cooties from him. The truth is, he’s been nothing but patient and kind as I’ve asked him lots of questions to try to help me understand things that he experiences. My friendship is the least I can offer in return.
So yes, I am a Christian. One of my best friends is gay. These two things really can co-exist. The rainbow is the symbol that God gave Noah that he would never again destroy the world by water. Let us not destroy the world with hate.
P.S. – I know this was a departure from my lighter posts, but it was just something I wanted to share. I promise the humor will return with the next post. I’ve got stories about donkey basketball! (Yes, you heard me right. I’ve even got pictures!)