Tears are flowing.
There is an excitement.
I want to stand up and say finally we are going to be treating everyone with the respect and dignity that they so deeply deserve.
I want to shout it from the roof tops for all of my friends who have waited so long. I want to pull away the darkness for all of my friends who have hid in the shadows hoping that their partners will be recognized. I want to hold the hand of my friends and raise them high above my head as if cheering for the most important game in history as the most courageous team experiences their victory.
These are the things that I want to to do today.
In the midst of it all.....my soul is filled with trepidation.
I have longed to stand with my friends and rejoice with them as human beings. Respected. Dignity given. Equality given.
I know that civil equality does not measure religious equality.
I know that in the days and weeks to come that members of my flock will be divided. We are not all going to rejoice in this decision. This is going to be difficult.
It is going to be difficult for my clergy colleagues as we wade in the waters of grace. Personally I am rejoicing but as a clergy person within the UMC there is still much to be decided. 17 years ago, I willingly yoked myself with a covenant that did not give me the authority in which to officiate a same sex union. Within all covenants there are always parts that are harder to uphold and live within than others; this is one of those parts. I desperately want to be the one to stand with some of my closest friends as they join their lives together and someday I might just be able to do that.
My beloved Wesleyan tradition stands at a cross roads, and I feel that cross roads. I feel the tension.
My heart rejoices.
My soul is filled with delight.
My heart aches.
My soul wonders how to create a bridge for those who are standing on the opposite side of the fence today.
I want to remember that while I rejoice, I know many of my brothers and sisters will see this as an infringement upon their religious freedom. I want to be a Shepherd that goes out to get that one who has been hurt, who feels unworthy, who longs to belong but doesn't look like everyone else. I want to be the one that goes after the broken and wounded. I also want to be the one that stands as a voice of reason with those who have said yes to being a part of the pack so long ago. I want both sides to come together. I want to build a fence large enough that every single sheep can find their home and be fed. I do not see this as an infringement upon our religious beliefs but a civil celebration for all. Each our traditions are going to have to not just ask the hard questions but deal with hard realities. But this isn't going to be easy.
I rejoice today.
I build today.
I linger in the presence of the Holy today.