I made a commitment, an oath, if you will. I told Aj and Z that I would speak every day for them. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m going to write. Today is one of those days but, I made a commitment.
My life has been one that, for a long portion of it, I would not wish on anyone. I can be, and have proven to be, as self-destructive as it is possible to be and come out sane and alive. It was, and is, mine. I do not begrudge my past. It shaped my present. I like myself now.
I have had to grow. Part of that process was becoming sober 8 1/2 years ago. Part of that process was finding a lost faith, Christianity. Part of that process has been to examine my faith and my world view. Drug addicts are the most selfish people in the world. We do not see anything past our wants. Exploring my faith and learning to love myself has changed that. I have learned to love people besides me. That’s ironic because, as an addict, all I could see was how much I hated myself and how I expected everyone else to hate me. Self-pity is the flip side of addict selfishness. We wear it like armor. *sigh* It is poor armor because it only prevents us from seeing our own worth and the worth of others.
It took me learning to love myself to be able to find, and marry, the love of my life.
I also learned that there are others deserving of love and respect. Aj and Z are people on that list. I learned to love them because of the people they are.
It’s a funny thing. I do not share the same faith as Aj, yet, one of the things I love about her is how strong she is in her faith. She’s Pagan. We both agree that it is better to believe in something greater than yourself. We both believe that it is possible to care deeply about someone. We also agree that you have to learn to love yourself first. Aj is a mentor, of sorts, to me. Her Faith is something that is a source of great strength to her. We, very much, agree that faith is a source of goodness. I don’t plan on becoming Pagan, yet, I would not ever dream of asking her to convert to my faith. If I did, that would change her. That is something that I do not need in my life, I need for Aj to be herself.
Z is a different story. I have been called, by Z, her “advocate.” I suppose I am. Z is a Christian lady. She is someone that, as long as I know her, I will go to for prayer. Z is a person I trust. I count on Z to be an example and a conscience for this blog. You see, it was long after my views had begun to change that I found out that Z was gay. Kind of shocked me because I really had no idea. I had been semi-vocal on the issue of marriage equality but, was also semi-apathetic. Since it didn’t directly affect me, I didn’t put much effort into speaking out. Finding out about Z changed that. The reason it did was because the issue had become personal. If I can go to Z to ask her to speak to the God of our faith on my behalf, then I should speak to a lesser authority, mankind, on hers. Z is a person that has given me her love, I think, as I have given her mine. I HAVE to speak up for her.
I was pondering on the nature of the phrase “it’s the only Christian thing to do.” There are a lot of “only Christian” things to do. In context, trying to protect the ones you love and give voice to their right to love the god of their choice or the human of their choice is one. To stand beside my friends as an “advocate” is Christian. Jesus said “take care of my sheep”. Jesus did not say who the sheep were. He did not give a condition that said “all of them as long as they are of my faith and are straight”. I have to stand up for my friends. It is the Christian thing to do.
I was also wondering what it took to over come apathy. I have my answer. My answer is that Aj and Z are my friends. Doing nothing to stand up for them is wrong. I don’t have to be Pagan to stand up for her right to the faith of her own. I don’t have to be gay to stand up for her chance to marry who she wants if she ever decides to. I do have to go against my own faith not to. I do not know what it would take to change the views of the people that have set in their minds to oppose my friends or my views of my friends. I wish I did. I wish I knew the lever that it would take to convince someone that being for the rights of Aj and Z is the “only Christian thing to do.”