Saturday, March 21, 2015

At the Heart of the Matter are Matters of the Heart

(Is it an experiment, a combobulation of paint, or the beginnings of somethiing interesting?)
Today a woman dressed in shorts and obviously wearing a wig came into the church office. She was distraught and wanted to see a pastor. The more we chatted, it became obvious to me that this was a man dressed in women’s clothing.  She (he) had attractive legs and a nice face.
I told her to come back in one hour and perhaps our Youth Pastor would be here. She insisted that she really wanted to see a Senior Pastor, and she would come back later. This situation reminded me of an incident that happened in our Art Gallery.
I was working there one day when an older looking woman in glasses came in. Her “disguise” was purposely made to look artificial: an obvious curly wig sat askew on the top of her head, and she wore a frumpy skirt with a man’s shirt. She had no makeup and made no attempt to act feminine. The minute she walked in, I knew she was male. Since this happens often in the art world, I treated her as any other art lover.
(Add a glaze or two, wipe out, and something new
and interesting appears) I will define some of the
detail and show you the next two phases. I need
to add some more color for depth.)
She stayed for over an hour discussing art with the workers and indicating that she, too, was an artist. We told her about our group and suggested she look into joining because it sounded like she had great experience and exposure.
A couple days later, she came back dressed as “himself” with a partner. I acted as if I hadn’t seen him before, and showed them the pieces they were interested in. His partner was a collector.
I believe in both of these instances, the gay person was there to establish acceptance and to see if there was any prejudice or alienation in our attitudes or treatment. The “Gay marriage vote” was on the docket in the Fall in our area. But this recent experience with a Pastor was new to me. Perhaps the individual was sincere. I have no way of knowing.
When our youth pastor arrived, the woman returned. Unfortunately, Pastor had to leave again for a meeting. He invited her to come back at 2 p.m. As she left, I asked her if she intended to come back. Her reply: “No he’s too self-righteous.”
I was surprised at that judgment call since they had had only a few words. No one should expect to walk into a business or a church and expect that someone is going to be there for them at a moment’s notice. I think Christian churches are going to be tested in the next few years. “Hate speech” is coming to the forefront and some are even implying that the Bible be changed because of the hate speech it contains.
Ironically, when the Youth Pastor left for his meeting at another church, guess who was sitting in the foyer waiting for an appointment? Either serious help was needed, she wanted to be married in a Christian church or she was simply testing the church environment.
When we meet new people, we never know where they’re coming from. That’s why everyone should be treated with courtesy and respect. There’s no need to generate animosity or ill will. Our job as individuals and entrepreneurs is to avoid making judgment calls on other human beings. How they live their lives is none of our business. In like manner, no one should tell us what to paint, who we may sell to, and when as long as we are obeying the law. Freedom of choice should be every person's prerogative as long as they are operating within the law.
(I did this painting in much the same
way, except the parrot was planned.
It's mate is on the right.)
Since when did we become a society of “busy bodies” meddling into other people’s affairs? Why must our “free speech” be labeled? Who is the authority that designates what is and isn’t “hate speech?” Did they receive our vote? Why have they been given so much power and control over us?
Hate speech can work both ways. Recipients of hate have no race, ethnicity, color, gender or orientation. All are susceptible. Each is unique with specific traits and needs.
Tolerance and understanding can bridge the gap that seems to widen when hatred and anger are used instead. Deal with your fellow human beings honorably no matter which side of the spectrum they’re on.