Yesterday as I watched the Pride Parade in Chicago I noticed that no one was worried about trying to meet that cultural ideal and look “perfect”. And then...I was slapped upside the head (by the Holy Spirit?), my eyes were opened, and I saw that EVERYONE LOOKED PERFECT!
I stopped seeing and sorting people by category and saw that every single person was perfectly themselves! My heart was full! I had a glimpse of that moment in the creation story when God created and then said, “It is good.” Tov is the Hebrew word for good = perfectly made/good in it’s very essence.
I was also aware that many of these same people cannot be perfectly themselves in other parts of their lives. They cannot openly celebrate the beauty of themselves because they are judged and condemned. The parade is their safe space to be an act of resistance to the narrow idea that there is only one way to love and be a whole person in the world. As we walked to the parade route, I told my daughter and her boyfriend that if they noticed I did or said anything wrong to please let me know. I did not want to poison the safe space atmosphere. Their only direction: “Don’t be mean.” I love that. I think they know that I would not be mean or they would not have invited me along. It is so simple and beautiful!
I walked away from the parade changed. I was grateful to be welcomed into a community (to their party) and now
because of that generous spirit, I see all people more clearly for who they are and who we can be together – perfect and whole as God created.
Thank you to the LGBTQ community for letting me walk in your flip flops/stilettos/Vans/Birkenstocks/etc for an afternoon. You have shown me a better world. Just like all the glitter that is hard to wash off, my prayer is this new vision of God’s good creation will stay with me for a long time!