Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Titus 2 Tuesday: Marsha

I read a very disturbing blog this morning by a former classmate of mine. He was literally preaching on the evils of Halloween and how we as Christians are letting demonic activity into our lives if we participate. It was well-written, and he stated that he had researched every point, which I'm sure was true. And I understand and respect the viewpoint. However, I came away pretty disturbed.

The thing is, it was disturbing to me on more than one level.

On one level, I'm disturbed any time a fellow Christian presumes to be more holy than another. Last I checked we are all sinners in need of a Savior. And last I checked, none of us has a corner on all the answers.

On another level, it's disturbing to me because it's how I was raised.

I know Halloween is a touchy subject among my fellow Christians, so I'm not going to go any further into it. Suffice it to say, I've been on both sides of the beliefs on celebrating Halloween, and while I understand the reasoning behind denouncing the holiday, I prefer a more balanced viewpoint myself--understanding the history and celebrating the present.

All of that to say, it really got me thinking.

My parents were certainly not balanced in their beliefs on manners such as this. The churches I grew up in for my young years were not either, and while the church I attended and fell in love with as a teenager was...it was still my parents "standards" that governed my life.

So where DID my balanced viewpoints come into play? When did I learn to think outside the box and believe more and differently than I had been raised to believe?

I can't pinpoint a specific time and place that this began to change, but I can pinpoint an individual who was instrumental in helping me realize that not fitting into the typical mold of Christianity was not necessarily a bad thing.

Her name was Marsha, and she was my professor for quite a few of my education courses. She was tough and didn't take crap from anyone, but she loved us and wanted to see us succeed in the classrooms we were called to.

I found out pretty early on that Marsha and I were two of the few liberals on Trevecca's campus. It definitely bonded us, as we had to stick together! :-)

Marsha was the one who approached me my sophomore year and told me that her neighbors were looking for a babysitter they could trust. I immediately said that she should give them my number and she stopped me by saying "there's something you should know first..."

That's how I began babysitting for the two little girls with two mommies...that's how I fell in love with a family I never would have been allowed to socialize with growing up...that's how I began babysitting for several same-sex couples because it was next to impossible for them to find loving and capable people to care for their children in this area of the country.

One day one of the mommies told me
"I'd love to meet your parents."
Confused, I asked her why. Her response startled me.
"I would love to meet the people who raised a daughter to be both a Christian and accepting of others. You make no secret of your beliefs and viewpoints, yet we have never felt judged or not tolerated by you. You love us and you love our babies."

I didn't have the heart to tell her that my parents would probably not be who she should meet. It was the influence of people like herself and of Marsha who helped me realize that life is not always black and white...that snap judgments should never be made...and that everyone is loved by God, therefore I am called to love them.

Marsha and others have helped me in my classroom full of different faiths, my city full of refugee families from around the world, and my daily life where I meet other people just like myself--broken and unworthy, yet called to be His children.

Marsha moved to another state to consult for their education system when I was a junior. She and I have kept in touch periodically and she's always excited to hear what new things are going on in my life.

I'm so very thankful for her influence and the influence of countless others who helped me to just get out of my box!



HappyascanB said...

A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Love this! You know, the few things you've said of your childhood remind me of a sermon my preacher just did a few weeks ago on overcoming family issues. I loved the sermon b/c it totally reminded me despite my Dad abandoning us, my God is BIGGER. Much bigger, and He brought me through! He's done the same to you, sweet one!

Sassy Chica said...

When Christian's quote unquote start preaching or condeming, I must disengage or can not be responsible for how I respond.

Happy Hump day, hope its a faublous one for ya!

Sassy Chica

p.s-i do have the 5words and will let you know once I post...I apologize for the delay!

Anonymous said...

Lora, Since you are a supporter of my blog, I wanted to be a supporter of yours. Hey, I did not mean to imply that I think I'm any more holy than anyone else in my blog about Halloween. Believe me, I understand how you were raised. I was almost raised the same way. The only difference is we didn't have such strict dress codes. I was 20 years old before I even had dinner in a resturant that served alcohol. I was 18 before I ever saw a movie in a theatre. I am a conservative, Pentecostal-holiness Christian. I make no apologies for that. However, I do apologize if I came across as being legalistic. The only thing that matters is if a person is born again. It doesn't matter what church you go to. It dosen't matter what differences we may have. Being born-again is the only thing that matters. If you are saved (and I know you are) then we are in the family of God. Please don't be 'disturbed' by the things I wrote. I think very highly of you. You are right, we are all sinners saved by Grace. As the old hymn says, "But for His grace, I'd be lost and drifting along."
God Bless you!

Bethany said...

I know how you feel, Lora. My parents kept us from T-O-T for years after my dad researched Halloween and basically gave us a sermon on the evils of it. A few years ago, for some odd reason he dropped the subject and my youngest siblings are T-O-T again. Sigh...