Long Beach Pride

Not bad for an old church lady Pride was fun and I think outreach was successful.  While there were some people who scoffed at the offer of blessings (we had lollipops with Bible verses stapled to them for Love, Friendship, Finances, Family, Hope, and Health) most people received them well.  Some people were quite excited at the invitation and some were interested by the concept of apologizing for the wrongs of the Christian church and offering an open door.

One woman in particular touched me.  My friend was carrying the box with lollipops and was approached by a group and when he started stuttering I stepped up (only to later discover I was possibly cock blocking too, ooooops!).  One woman said she was agnostic.  I said cool, no problem.  Frankly I don’t think my ministry is to ‘convert’ people, I think my ministry is more to bring people BACK to church who have that seed of desire or faith already in them.  I’m here to do some watering.  I have no desire to push religion on anyone.  Someone tells me they aren’t interested, I bless them and carry on.  Another woman though took the blessing enthusiastically.  I explained who it was from and what we’re about.  I talked about how we want to acknowledge that many people have been hurt by the church and tell them it’s okay to come back.  I spoke more eloquently then of course in one of those moments where I am given words when my own are insufficient.  She told me I was about to make her cry.  I invited her warmly and offered her a hug which she accepted wholeheartedly with her shades quickly pulled down to cover her misty eyes.  That woman blessed me by showing me her heart.  She blessed me by allowing me to share with her the importance of this church and this ministry to me.  I am keeping all the lives that touched me this weekend in prayer, in hopes that they will find their way to one of the many churches in our community, but her I especially have close to my heart because she had the courage to show me her pain, and the obvious hunger.  I hope she too finds her home!

It was fun singing on the float on Sunday, when I wasn’t trying to keep from falling midsong, especially seeing people singing along with us in the crowd.  And waving enthusiastically, giving us love.  I am glad I was able to represent and be a presence in my community. I was definitely blessed by the experience as much as I was tested, tried and stretched at moments.

I know a lot of my friends don’t understand and it’s perplexing to some people to see me as a church lady but most people have been very affirming and genuinely happy that I have found a church to call home and that I am more at peace with myself these days.

So yeah, pride was different but still awesome.  Still got my flirt on, still hung out, still danced for a bit, but coming from a different place and invested in different ways.

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