Yesterday evening, in the midst of a packed lobby outside of the youth worship space, I carried a cardboard box of bright-pink booklets. We affectionately call them our “Pink Hymnals”–a collection of songs that carry certain meaning for at least one of the many Pink Mennos who contributed suggestions to the list via a discussion on the PinkMenno Ning Network. I’m not going to lie–I was nervous. I knew these feelings would return to me this week–shame ingrained so deep in my being that it’s tough to wear a pink shirt and gather with other folks who are willing to take action in support of GLBTQ folk like me.
What will they think? What will they say later about the gay guy who lead the hymns? What if they don’t like me? These questions seem silly now, but they are the questions I’ve asked myself for a long as I can remember whenever I was around church folk.
But this is new. Slowly, one by one, people in pink and people in not pink joined our singing, picking up a hymnal or just singing from memory. The opening of the worship hall doors seemed to be delayed, which meant the lobby was getting very full. And warm. And loud. And worry crept in at times. But then I made eye contact with one of the many beautiful people standing in a roundish clump in the midst of the waiting, and wondering, and expecting, and fearing.
Singing with these folks, many of whom I don’t know, reminds me that God’s love comes to me in unexpected moments and connections that I could never plan or control. God’s love comes to me when Spirit connects me to another imperfect, unsure, willing-to-if-you-will Pink Menno.
We are people of God’s peace as a new creation.
Love unites and strengthens us at this celebration.
Sons and daughters of the Lord, serving one another,
a new covenant of peace binds us all together.