At the start of this post I really have no clue what I'm writing about. I just know a lot is on my mind.
Musically: I'm starting to like this band called For King and Country more and more. They have a great song called "Fix My Eyes." It's my new theme song. Their new album comes out in two Tuesdays. LifeWay has a display for it. I don't think it will go over in that neighborhood, but they are British, and being a Doctor Who and ELO fan, I love that. They don't sound like Keane, but I think of them when I hear them.
What do you do when there is an outspoken civil rights activist who is also pro-life and stands up for Conservative beliefs and has relatives whose birthdays we celebrate as holidays? I personally look up to that person and would love to join the cause. What do you do if she came into the store you work at for the third time last Monday since you've worked there this year? I mean, she's just there looking at the clearance items and the bargain fiction books. How does one proceed other than ask if there is anything I can help with? Maybe that is it. Maybe I should just ask her that in her pro-life and civil rights activism.
Working at LW, you are encouraged to share connection stories with the staff. They can be anonymous or have your name on them. Either way, what if you get a really good one but it has so many personal aspects that you are hesitant to share it? A lady comes in looking for books about reaching gay people. She has a friend who is considering the lifestyle. I myself am concerned about this issue as a former youth pastor who volunteers at a pregnancy center and longs for people to learn to follow the Lord and not their desires. I myself burn with passion but learned that it's not a sin to love someone of your same gender. It's a sin to make it sexual. (And I'm happily married to a man, but was still raised in a highly sexual society that has not left me unscathed). I was really touched by that shopper. She asked, "Are there churches that have programs for this thing?"
I honestly wish there was a clear answer for that. I know the church I attend has Celebrate Recovery and deals with all "hurts, habits, and hangups." Perhaps we could start dealing with this at our pregnancy centers. There was Exodus International and I'm sad to say that it's gone away due to people reverting back to their old lifestyles. There are outspoken Christians who have same-sex attraction such as Sam Alberry who follow the Lord and lead conferences for the Gospel Coalition.
And a civil rights leader comes to shop at LifeWay. Just as we are just now starting to have peace with people who have darker shades of skin than me, although the Dream still has a long way to go, can we learn to realize that our deep passions for our friends are not a sexual calling, but a gift from God to love people and lead them to Jesus? To care for people's needs before our own? To find more constructive ways to channel our desires like in music or sports? What if we learn how to mortify the deeds of the flesh by not focusing on not thinking of the elephant in the room, but by focusing on God and what he wants? Jesus is the only way to find meaning for all your passions and dreams. His plan really does work.