Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor



April 2015



Good Friday Thoughts on RFRA

Written by , Posted in faith, life


Someone wrote to me and said they were surprised I hadn’t written about my thoughts on the “religious freedom” bill yet, and the fact is, all I’ve managed is a Facebook post here and a few tweets there and maybe one sarcastic blog comment for good measure because I am so, so, fucking beyond about the whole thing. Beyond angry, beyond hurt, beyond sad, beyond betrayed by my own fellow Americans and, infinitely worse, by my own fellow Christians. So I just can’t. I can’t write a thoughtful, helpful blog post about how thoroughly fucked it feels to live in a country where legislation is passed with the express purpose of keeping “your kind” out—and so done in the name of the very faith you hold dear. It’s too much.

So instead I will tell you a story on this Good Friday.

We met with the small group leaders of our church, my love and I. They had concerns—they understood we were a committed couple, and they could abide it, but they simply could not allow us to participate as full members of their church. Our service in the name of the Lord would be muddied by (un)virture of our lowly state. We could attend, but we could not serve. We wept, and I screamed, and I pounded the chest of the man who made the final pronouncement, who spoke for the majority, who said we were not equals, not good enough to collect the crumbs of the Table, not quite right.

We left that place that we thought was our home and began a long walk.

As I kicked up dust and rocks from the path, I realized I was alone—she’d been transported without explanation or concern, as often happens in these places. So I journeyed on, tears drying to my face, spackling the dirt to me, and it felt fitting. This is how they saw me, how the holy and the lawful saw me, and I rubbed it deep into my pores, taking it in, believing it more and more with each furious smudge. Fuck it. Fuck them. Fuck the whole thing anyway. I don’t need their goddamn cakes and consecrations.

And then I saw a man walking down the road to meet me.

He wasn’t dirty like me, but he didn’t look so hot either. He looked worn. Weary. As he got closer, I could tell he was looking right at me, but deeper than that, and to say his eyes were sad isn’t enough, but language limits me to tell the truth of what I saw in him.

He held out both hands to me, like he knew me, and somehow I knew him, perhaps, again, as these things happen in these sorts of places. I thought he wanted me to take his hands, but before I could decide whether to extend my own, he spoke.

“Give it to me.” His voice was so sad but so sure.

“Give you what?” And I started to cry again, but this time without anger, and I knew the answer as he said it.

He didn’t want my gayness. He wanted what was destroying my heart.

So I put it in his hands, somehow, as you can do in those places. I gave him the anger, the sadness, the hurt, the betrayal. I gave him what was killing me in the middle of that rocky dirt road.

And then I watched him turn to go up the hill to the dying place. “But what does it mean?” I called after him, and the desperation in my own voice surprised me.

He turned toward me one last time.

“It means you can forgive them.”

All this time—because somehow, in this place, I suddenly had always known him—I had thought he was going to be a sacrifice, a punishment. But as he walked away with my hurts in his hands, I finally understood: He was a vessel. There was only one place that could hold all ills and not allow them back out, and he was the only one who could transport them there and still get out himself.

Soon I was with my love again, and, hands emptied, I could just hold her.

  • Julie

    Oh my God! Crying! This is perfect, Tamara. The love of Christ told in a parable sort of way…the way that he liked to teach. The meaning of the crucifixion and the resurrection told in such a real and palpable way.

    I am so sorry that your church failed to honor Christ’s teachings and in doing so, hurt you and Casey so deeply. Come home.

    • TamaraOutLoud

      Oh no, I’m sorry– I didn’t mean to be misleading. Our church in particular hasn’t done anything. I’ve just had so much hurt and anger in my heart lately about the discriminatory legislation and the church’s generally exclusive stance that my mind made up the getting-kicked-out-at-church thing in my dream.

      • Julie

        Oh yes, I believe that Jesus did speak that love and truth into your heart. Isn’t it awesome how he takes our cares, fears, pain, heartache, upon his shoulders, and gives us peace, joy, and rest? Our blessed Redeemer intercessor, and truest of all friends!

        Your dream story sounded so real, and so possible. I, of course, am gullible so, I took it as true. I hope that your church will be not only accepting, but also fulling embracing of the LBGTQ within their community, allowing and encouraging ALL disciples of Christ to fully participate.

  • pastordt

    Amazing, Tamara. Just that. Thank you.

    • TamaraOutLoud

      Thank you, Diana. Hearing from Jesus that morning in prayer was amazing to me, too. He is always so good to me.

  • http://www.aweirdthing.wordpress.com Neil Chappell

    Your light shines so brightly. Quite simply amazing. And so, so humbling… thank you

    • TamaraOutLoud

      Oh goodness, thank you so much, Neil. I see a lot out there about how “choosing” to be gay hardens people’s hearts so they can’t know God, but I feel like choosing to accept how I was made has done the very opposite. I’m humbled that you see it.

  • http://father-god.blogspot.com/ Scott Shultz

    You so often rock my world and bolster my faith with your vision and words. Thanks Tamara!

    • TamaraOutLoud

      Wow, that’s humbling– thank you so much, Scott.

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