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Rob and Linda Robertson have an unbelievable story that has moved countless people. Tams and I first heard about their story a few months ago through social media and the article Linda had written for Huffington Post that went viral, entitled “Just Because He Breathes: Learning to Truly Love Our Gay Son.”
We didn’t realize they lived a couple hours south of us, and that we had a mutual friend as well. Their story moved us so much, we connected with them via Facebook, and then as fate would have it, managed to have the pleasure of meeting Linda for lunch in October of this year. Having my own struggles with my parents accepting my sexuality, I was just so amazed to hear the grace and love that poured from Linda that day. Even her enthusiasm, to our wedding day, wanting to know more, what a gift that was. We knew we had met a lifelong friend.
Not long after that, we heard that Rob & Linda were asked to be keynote speakers at this year’s Gay Christian Network [GCN] Conference in Chicago.
We had been planning to attend this year for our third conference in a row, and were ecstatic that Rob & Linda would get to share their story with the beautiful community of GCN.
A couple weeks before Christmas, Linda called me and wanted my opinion on an idea for the opening of their keynote speech. She had seen some of my sketches on Facebook – most likely from the Movember batch I was working on – and wondered if I would be up for helping. I did not hesitate, as I would willingly do anything to help this amazing family!
I had a 2 week break coming up from the studio over Christmas, but I had already scheduled a couple projects to work on for that time. I managed to push things around and put aside a solid 4 days to devote to this project.
Working with Linda who wrote the script, their friend [and now mine!] Trenton Waterson who acted as Producer and managed all the details, and his contact Jesse Springer who could do the voiceover work – we managed to pull together this little short film that summarizes their journey with their son Ryan. While I wish I would have had a month or two to work on this and not 4 days, I am so thankful I was able to help out!
Watch and share – this story of true love, hope and redemption is for everyone.
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“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
– The Apostle Paul, Ephesians 4:2-3
(Our interview with Bruxy is at about the 29 min mark.)
[In case it doesn’t work, link to the video here, click on Video button.]
It so happens lately – I believe through a lot of prayer and our attempt at living authentically – that opportunities have been cropping up for Tams and I to share a bit of our thoughts on faith and being gay. Or being a gay married couple, and still clinging to our faith. For many, that still does not compute.
And that’s okay.
I spent many years wrestling with that, and I will be the first to understand that any sort of conclusion doesn’t get reached lightly. My goal in sharing my truth is not to convince people that being gay is right, but that there is love for all, in all stages of this journey. Love is the first and foremost. Do I still wrestle with tension in my conservative family and background on this? Yes. Does God give me peace that that’s ok? Absolutely. But let’s dialog, let’s talk, let’s communicate – in love – that we don’t all have to agree. We are all equal at the foot of the cross, and there is room to disagree. Let’s pour our energies into figuring out how to love each other well, instead of trying to be “right” in our own interpretation of Scripture.
Through these many years of journeying this issue, I have made friends on all ends of the spectrum. And some we agree and cheer each other on, and some we disagree – and still manage to cheer each other on – and THAT’S the beauty of God in the midst of it. One of those dear friends is Bruxy Cavey, teaching pastor at The Meeting House church in Ontario. He is also author of an amazing book, “The End of Religion”. The stance at The Meeting House is quite clear on not affirming same-sex marriage. But Brux is able to celebrate Tams and I in our relationship with each other and with him. What a beautiful picture that is to me! It’s not “I love you BUT…”, it’s “I love you.” And that we are trying to embody that verse from Ephesians is so incredibly encouraging to me.
Sort of out of the blue, Brux asked if he could interview us for a current series they are working through entitled Modern Family. We were going to be seeing him in the Vancouver area for a concert anyway, so a few weeks ago we did a mini video shoot and taped some thoughts on this topic that they edited for a short clip in his message. This can be seen in the embedded video – our interview is about 30 minutes in – Bruxy leads up to it around 25 minutes in, but the whole message is worth listening to. [The whole series is definitely worth listening to, btw!] This is obviously a drop in the bucket in terms of how much this issue will need continuing dialog on, but how amazing is it that there are many out there willing to at least sit down and have that dialog! So thankful am I.
Also wanted to mention, another dear friend of ours, Wendy Gritter, was also interviewed in this message briefly, and she is a true champion for the sexual minorities in the church. Her ministry New Direction has been focusing on what is called Generous Spaciousness within the church – to allow for people of faith to have room to work out these incredibly hard issues of sexual identity. Wendy is a personal hero of mine, and has just been such a great friend and encourager to Tams and I throughout our long journey.
This is an exciting [and scary] time to be a gay Christian. And I feel it’s also an incredibly huge privilege AND responsibility. Those are two massive labels that carry with them their own baggage; nevermind combining them into a new package of chaos and confusion. But, hopefully, with love at the forefront – and as Apostle Paul says – trying desperately to be humble, gentle and patient, we can make a difference. We can learn from each other and admit we don’t have all the answers. But surely we can love each other better.
Bottom line – don’t be afraid to love too much. I know on my death bed it will be the one thing I will be so incredibly proud to say I did recklessly.