You don’t know me and I wish you didn’t have to. Today I read an article about something that happened to you. Something that should never have happened to you. By someone that claims to be a believer like I am. A follower of Jesus. A Christian.
Life has not been easy for me. I have not always been what you would call, a good Christian. I suppose that’s what makes me all the more desperate and in need of grace. Of forgiveness. I am a seriously hot mess. On a scale of 1 to 10, an easy 12. So I suppose that’s why it's fairly easy for me to love the people around me. To extend empathy. And I suppose that’s also why I find it so easy to relate to so many of the broken people in the Bible. So many of the people Jesus hung out with. Got to know. To love.
Anyways, I’m not writing this to preach, that would be hysterically hypocritical. Seriously. I mean, I ate around 42 donuts today and there’s probably a million mentions of gluttony in the Bible. But my point is this; I just wanted you to know that for better or worse, I love you. I am a Christian and I am proud of it. And there is not a lot in my life that I can say that about. And even more than that, I am so sorry. Yep.
I am sorry.
I am sorry for what happened to you. For what those women who seemingly claimed to know and love Jesus, said and did to you recently. You were just doing your job. Waitressing. Trying to earn money to pay your bills. Like a responsible adult.
To be left an out of context Bible verse and a condescending message instead of a tip is the opposite of love. Because of your sexual orientation. Because you are gay.
So I would like to respond with this.
The greatest commandment.
That comes first and last.
That covers a multitude of things.
That asks your name. Says, tell me your story. Let me share life with you. Let me carry the weight that this world presses down on you. Let me share in your struggles. Let me share in your triumphs.
That is love.
To tell the truth Alexandra, it is people like this that I struggle to understand. That keep me up at night. That I have to pray for. Often. That I give to the Lord on a regular basis. Because I don’t get it. I don’t get how they are missing the point. The most obvious point of the Bible. Of Christianity. The hypocrisy makes me absolutely crazy.
And then I remember.
That we are all broken. Fallible. All of us. Every. Single. One. Even the Christians. And in some ways, especially them. I mean, and this is not an excuse, but I grew up in the church and it wrecked me. Not God. Not Jesus. But the pressure. To get everything right. The institution. Religion. The very thing that Jesus came and fought against.
He was radical. In every single way. He railed against institution. Against establishment. Instead he was the very definition of love. Radically and unconditionally loving. To death.
I am praying for you. But in a very different way. My prayer is that God would bless you in ways you could not even begin to imagine. That doors would begin to open in your life that you never thought would open. That you would feel the love of God in every single aspect of your life. Because He loves you and because you are so worthy and deserving of it. He created you with such unique and singular purpose that no other human being could possibly fulfill. Because I think he wants you to know how proud he is of you.
I am taking a huge risk here. I am not naive, despite the fact that I may be an admitted hot mess. There have been stories like this in the media in the past that were later determined not to be true. And I am also aware of the contingent of folks who think this might be in some way political. Nope. Could care less, people. The only thing I have time for in my life anymore is love. For everyone. Everyone. So I'm writing this letter anyways. Because love.
So in the same radical way that Jesus walked this earth, your are unconditionally loved. Or like my favorite writer Glennon Doyle Melton says, "We belong to each other." And I am sending you an appropriate tip. It’s going in the mail this week. And I would urge other believers who feel led to do the same. Let’s show her what real love looks like. What Christ like love looks like. I am attaching the related article and the address of the restaurant at the bottom.
And by the way, I used to waitress. I was fired from every job I ever had. Which is approximately 7 restaurants. I mean, I was a drug addict and an alcoholic mind you. It's why I write the blogs now. But waitressing is no joke. It’s freaking serious business. That alone makes me ticked at these women. Come on!
C/O Alexandra Judd
1601 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205