After a a recent local gathering, I mentioned to a friend how frustrated I am with not fitting in here. She asked, "Do you think anyone feels like they fit in?" I've been thinking about that question ever since she asked it, because I've had the sense that we were talking past each other. She was kindly and wisely pointing out that everyone feels different, but that's not what I meant.
When I think of fitting in, I'm not talking about blending in. I cannot imagine a group entirely made up of people like me (merciful heavens). To me, fitting in means that there's space for my unique shape. The puzzle pieces aren't identical, but nobody has to grab the scissors to force everything into place. It's not about homogeneity, it's about acceptance-- and I've had that. I still have that, in a surprising number of places. But I don't have much of it locally, and it's damn lonely. I appreciate the people who really know me so much more now.
Are there places where you fit it, where you're loved (and known) as you are? Is church one of them, or is that a place where people don't really see and hear each other? We talk about Open and Affirming churches as ones that are LGBT friendly, and that's really important to me-- but I wonder, can we take it beyond that? Can we celebrate the craftsmanship displayed in each person's particular self?
I want everyone to be welcome. When I think of call and ministry (which I do, all the bloody time, because I can't get the topic to shut up in my head), over and over I think of hospitality, which I understand to mean welcoming each unique God-beloved soul. And I think that's how people fit it.
The Calm Before the Accreditation Visit
13 hours ago