About a week ago, I was having dinner with a great friend who I’m also discipling. We were just chatting about the odds and ends in our lives, what the future holds for us within our local church and the Church at large. On top of that, we were diving deep into our past, comparing what we’ve gone through leading to nowadays. What a drastic change both of us have made, and yet we still yearn to become holy as Christ is holy.
Blah, blah, blah, you know, the typical Christian things we do and talk about.
While we were talking, a thought popped in my head! Gay Pride was coming up, and we had an event coming up for my local church, our annual Independence Day celebration when our church has encouraged us to pass out cards and spread the word to anyone we know.
Right when I was talking, I suddenly stopped and blurted out, “Dude! Let’s pass out the Freedom Celebration cards at Gay Pride this weekend!”
My friend was confused for a bit, but he soon got what I was saying. We started planning what we were going to do, going over our answer if people started asking what we were doing and why we were doing it. My friend had never been to a Gay Pride event before, whereas I have gone twice! I did my best to prepare him, and once I explained this crazy idea, both of us were pretty stoked!
In those days leading up Gay Pride, we were in prayer and in the Word, asking God to give us love for the LGBT people and words of wisdom so we wouldn’t say something stupid. Also, we asked God to give us the courage to hand out Freedom Celebration cards to people or an alternative route to give this information.
The day arrived for Gay Pride, and both of us were pretty excited yet uncertain of what to expect.
We arrived at the Gay Pride parade an hour late, but we did make it! We could hear the crowd celebrating and laughing, and once we actually saw the parade, there were a lot of people! It was temptation island for me with all the shirtless muscular guys, but I’d prepared myself for this!
I’d gone to Gay Pride event twice before. The first time, I was just curious and wanted to see what all the excitement was about. I’d parked way far away and went to a corner store and hid myself there so that no one I knew would find me. Man, seeing all the hot shirtless guys there was exhilarating! They were dancing, drinking, and whistling at other hot guys!
Man, my first Gay Pride was exciting for me — but only from far away.
The second time I went to Gay Pride was last year when a friend of mine was in town. He identifies as gay and is married to another man. We keep in contact with each other, and I found out he was gonna be there for that particular Gay Pride weekend. So, I met up with him at the parade, though by this time I didn’t care for all the “fun” stuff that was happening there. I’d already gone there in my past, so it was a “been there, done that” type of thing.
Back to my third Gay Pride on the other end of the spectrum with me and my friend. We did see families there, fully clothed, just enjoying their time. This year it was pretty mellow, which was a surprise to me because of my previous encounters at Gay Pride. Of course, there were your usual drag queens lightening the mood for everyone, making sure everyone was enjoying their time at Gay Pride, pulling funny jokes and all.
I prayed for them the whole time, asking God to one day open the hearts and minds of some of these people to the Truth of His word, that He loves them all and has an amazing life-changing plan for them. To have a purposeful life. To call the Church their family.
Man, the weather was so horrible! Of course it’s summer, and that day it reached 100 degrees. I saw some people passing out water, and both of us saw people throwing water balloons at people — including ourselves! We didn’t get hit, unfortunately. But everyone seemed so focused on the parade, and we knew it wouldn’t be possible to see if anyone wanted prayer or to evangelize to them. So, we decided to put flyers on their vehicles.
While putting flyers on the cars, trucks, and minivans, my friend and I were talking about how LGBT people are just regular people like you and me. Yeah, they have their day of celebrating who they are, and we discussed why that was. It was a good conversation all around, and though we didn’t talk with or pray over anyone, we did feel accomplished being there, passing out our Freedom Celebration cards.
Now it’s up to God to do whatever He wants with those cards as we put the whole thing in His hands. We are only vessels, the messengers of God to share the Gospel to anyone willing to listen. I hope someday one of those LGBT people in the community looks back and remembers seeing the card and being invited to an event that changed his or her life forever. Again, it’s in God’s hands.
Have you ever attended Gay Pride in one way, shape, or form? Do you feel led to minister to LGBT people, or do you feel too strong of a divide?
* Photo courtesy diversey, Creative Commons.