Sunday, July 24, 2011
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Unfortunately, words often repeated are, at times, drained of their power. For many people of faith, these words have been diluted to a sentimental set of verses repeated out of obligation at weddings, or read out during the annual church sermon on love.
However, we recognize it when we see it lived out and it never fails to take our breath away. It stops us in our tracks, and we recognize that something Holy has occurred.
That was the reaction my wife and I had as we sat and watched this sermon by Randy Roberts Potts, grandson of the televangelist Oral Roberts. Randy told the story of his family and himself, and how they lived through his announcement that he is gay.
What struck us both was the love that Randy has been able to nurture, in an environment that has been oppositional to him. Throughout the talk, he offers forgiveness and grace to the family and friends who have rejected him. As the verse states, Randy always chose to hope the best for their intentions, even when their actions were hurtful. In each pain he recounted, he offered grace.
My wife and I also enjoyed the trip down memory lane. We both grew up in charismatic/evangelical circles, so we understood when Randy related stories like the one of his grandfather climbing into the prayer tower expecting his listeners to give 8 million dollars or God was going to take him to heaven - in the world we were living in "this wasn't as unusual as you might expect".
His sermon is one of the finest "it gets better" talks I have heard. It is also a stirring example of someone taking pain sown in his life, and re-tilling it into something that nurtures.
Posted by Andrew at 2:51 PM