Responding to brokenness with love

I’ve had a couple people comment on my recent Facebook post regarding my response to the hookup scene in Master of None. I’ve appreciated the thoughtful comments. I recognize that some of my peers hold different opinions regarding sexuality than I do, and look forward to learning more from others. Some of my response is based on a lack of familiarity with this topic, so I enjoy hearing from others.

I also recognize that my response is based on a specific theology regarding sexuality. At some point, I would like to share my perspective on this topic, as I hope that it would be helpful to understand the perspective of myself and others of my theological community.

However, I know that some individuals have been deeply hurt by Christians in this area of their lives. Individuals who have been excoriated, ridiculed, even threatened by people of faith. Individuals who see Christians not as people of mercy and love, but as people of judgment and hatred. Please note that I can only speak to the response of Christians; I cannot claim to speak about individuals’ experiences with people of other religions.

But I remember the stories of Jesus in the Gospels. I remember the story of him caring for a young woman who had had multiple husbands, and was living with a man who was not her husband. I remember the story of him receiving the adoration of a woman living in sin, as she washed his feet with her tears and anointed them with oil. I remember his mercy for a woman caught in adultery.

To be clear, Jesus did not compromise on his virtues. He told these women that what they were doing was wrong, that the paths they had chosen were paths of sin, not paths to life and fulfillment. But Jesus did not wield his virtues as a hammer to shape people to be worthy of his love. His love shaped transformation in their lives, so that they submitted to his virtues. His kindness led them to repentance. He called them to change, not so that they could earn his love, but through his love.

Now, I know some may say that a casual sexual hookup is not a sinful act. That is a theological point that merits serious discussion, and I may touch on that in another post. For now, I will simply say that Jesus referred to sin as sickness. He responded to sickness with compassion and care, not hatred and alienation. I pray that I become a person to whom broken people can turn for healing and restoration. I pray that I do not react to brokenness out of fear and ignorance, but with a desire for understanding and patience. I pray that I carry my beliefs not as a weapon, but as an invitation into something wonderful.

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