A church near our house has a changeable message board on their front lawn, and every few days a new comment appears. The statements offered are nearly always timely and clever, and I have laughed out loud at them more than once. Yet sometimes a message also makes me pause and think; so I appreciate these notes not only for their ability to produce positive feelings, but also to generate a spirit of genuine inquiry.
Today as I drove past the sign, my eyes took in just five simple words: “Love and lovers welcome here.”
Along with casting our ballots for elected public officials, in a few months the citizens of the state I live in will also collectively decide whether marriage rights should be limited to a defined sub-population of individuals. As November draws near, representatives on both sides of this emotional issue are becoming more vocal, more assertive, more certain that their choice is the correct one.
I smiled a sad smile when I read today’s church sign. I smiled because I appreciate that a religious group who historically has not had overly-inclusive views was able to distill lots of rhetoric down to the real heart of the matter (pun intended); but my smile was twinged with a bit of sadness knowing that the sign was needed at all.
Yet for me, the beauty of this moment which prompted the smile trumps the sadness that surfaces when I have to acknowledge that prejudice still exists in a variety of forms. For me, love wins. :)