10.20.2010

Go ahead. Call him a “faggot” again.

“What are you looking at, Faggot?”

That’s what some random guy said to my son.my child….the fruit of my… just kidding, that’s oogy. But you get the idea: Someone insulted my 16 year old mega-hipster, called him a “faggot” as he walked alone through an aquarium in Disney’s Epcot Center.

I keep daydreaming this scenario where the guy says, “What are you looking at, Faggot.”, and then he feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around to find my gigantic husband towering over him, “What did you call him?” Then our friend, Scotty B., steps in, cracking his tattooed knuckles, he flashes a menacing smile, “Go ahead. Call him a ‘faggot’ again.” As he speaks, the light catches his gold tooth with a brilliant *ting* and the guy feels a shudder, somewhere deep in his soul, that cries, “You messed with the wrong kid!”

I know. I’m silly…and crazy vengeful.

But, seriously, who does that? Who goes around calling people names? What a freaking bully!

As much thought as I have put into “if I had been there” fantasies, the truth is that if I had been there, it wouldn’t have happened at all. Bullies don’t lash out against people in communities. Especially when that community includes a heavy handed, Kentucky-fried-hillbilly/tattoo artist, a massive, fur faced ex-cop, and a missionary chick who will kick you in the teeth if you threaten her young…Uh…nevermind. That’s not the point.

The point is that if we are going to call ourselves “the Church”, if we are going to offer Love, and be Peacemakers and bearers of Hope, then we better be damn ready to offer community to the “faggots” and the “fattys”. We better stand behind the “whores” and the “skanks” and the “pizzafaces”, and get on our feet for “losers”, “freaks”, “noobs”, “wankers”, and every last one of the “dorks that annoy the crap out of everybody”. We have to give up our desire to choose who we will love, instead loving everyone and welcoming all without regard for their style, size, sensibility, sexuality, color, creed, and history….

…aaaand that means loving bullies, too.

Whoa. That IS NOT where I thought this was going.

But it’s true. Right? Being the Church means being open to the bullies, and the convicts, and the addicts, and abusers, and all the other people who scare us and intimidate us, maybe even people who've hurt us – BUT – loving them within the security of the community, so that as we are protecting the weak, we are also showing those who would prey on them a better way.

.....…

Go ahead. Call him a faggot, again…. And this time, instead of imagining your white-trash mullet getting caught in a wood chipper, I’ll dream of buying you dinner, and maybe even a beer, so that we can both learn something about what real Grace looks like.


** Just so you know: I started writing this last week, before I read this post and the comments that followed on Carlos Whittaker's blog, Ragamuffin Soul. I have no doubt that the unexpected turn in the middle of this post has something to do with the conversation happening over there. If you haven't already read Carlos' post AND the amazing comments that it drew, you should! It will mess up your head. **