December 15, 2014 jennyrain

Are We Really Creating Space?

Photo Creative Commons by terimakasih0

“Creating Space” is becoming a new buzzword.

It’s a great concept because the true meaning of “creating space” allows for another person to fully BE who they are while they are in our presence.

One of my good friends did a great job of creating space for me a year ago when I needed to process stepping out of my marriage. She stepped into my mess, accepted me exactly for who I was, and pushed out the boundaries of my anxiety so that I could process what next steps needed to happen. I discovered how to self-accept because she modeled acceptance for me.

She was not judgmental, she was observant. She picked up notes that my heart strings were playing that I couldn’t hear. She walked WITH me, through my mess, and did not tell me what I needed to BE or how I needed to ACT to navigate my journey.

I want to see the church create this kind of space for others.

The kind of space that starts with radical acceptance and then says, “We love you for EXACTLY who you are. We don’t want or expect you to change. You have full access to the community that we offer as a church.”

Not the kind of space that segments eligibility for community-affiliation into buckets based on a person’s race, sexual orientation, gender, or marital status.

We are FULLY accepted in the beloved but then we proceed to mete out acceptance of others based on a code of religious rules that have been in flux since the middle ages.

Let’s risk accepting. Let’s get our hands messy. Let’s step into conversations with our minds made up that we will remain open and humble. Let’s fully step into the conversation and stop hiding behind rules, process, or “the way it’s always been done.” As we do this, I believe we can create the kind of radical space that reflects the diversity of what God has already created in heaven.

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I break things and trip a lot. I like to chase things like dreams, goals, ideas, and raindrops. I create things with words. Writing has been an outlet since I first discovered the magic empty space of a journal. Words dance around in my brain and often land amidst scraps of paper, find their way into journals, or etch themselves into blinking pixels. I hope my words fall like rain on tender souls in need of refreshing. Finding photos in random moments helps me share stories. During a trip to Africa the perfect trifecta of my first DSLR, mission trip, and dream-location happened and my love of photography became a reality. I'm currently writing my first book, "Will They Laugh if I Call You Daddy: Growing up with 2 Dads in an Evangelical World," I'm a board member for One Million Kids, and I believe that every kid of an LGBT parent should have an opportunity to #ChangeTheConversation with their story. My bio remains in process because I am.