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  • Writer's pictureKendall Carroll

And the universe said I love you because you are love

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

June — and especially this June — is an awkward time of year for me. In case you haven’t heard, the United Methodist church is going through a bit of a disagreement. A lot of churches are leaving the denomination because they are horrified by the idea of a queer person worshiping, leading, or marrying at their church. Even outside of our denomination, there is a massive hate campaign against LGBTQ+ people right now. There is new harmful legislation against this community every single day. More and more states are directly threatening the lives and safety of children who identify as anything not straight and cis. Older queer people are being called groomers and predatory simply for existing in public. And a lot of the bigotry is being led by Christians, which is a community that I’ve considered myself to be a part of for my entire life.

But it’s not my only community in the fight. The queer people who are being attacked are people like me. Naturally, it’s created some conflicting feelings for me, because it is hard for these two identities to coexist with one another. Think about it: the Bible says that we were all created in God’s image. If this is true, and if many Christians are right that queer people are inherently sinful, does that really mean that God created and meticulously crafted me, only to say that I’m wrong for being this way? What kind of God would do that to Their own creation?

Luckily for me, that’s not really the God that I’ve come to know. You might know that my mom is Ms. Kim, who does Children’s Time every week in the services. And every single week, she has the children pray with her: “Dear God, thank you for loving me so much.” I was raised to believe that, above all else, God is love and God loves us. And I believe that is a conscious choice on God’s part. We are not always the perfect creation. We can be mean and hateful to one another. But the Bible tells us over and over that God loves all us regardless. Despite everything, God still loves us. On purpose.

As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that where I see God most is in people loving one another: communities taking care of one another after a tragedy, people fighting to make a better world for future generations, and people standing with those who are different from them. To me, God doesn’t just have the ability to love: God is love. They make Themself known to humanity in those moments. So I just can’t believe that God would ever be upset about more love.

I’m not going to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t believe. But in honor of pride month, I invite you to ponder what God’s love means for you, and how you transfer that out to other people. For me that means celebrating and supporting gay and trans people in a time when that is harder to come by. But whatever it is for you, I think you should do it. Because the world could always use a little bit more love.

I’d like to leave you with an excerpt from a poem. You may not know this about me, but I’m a bit of a video game fan. If you complete the game Minecraft, a poem referred to as “The End Poem” scrolls through. If you’d like to read the whole poem, you can see it here, but this is the most relevant part:

"And the universe said I love you

And the universe said you have played the game well

And the universe said everything you need is within you

And the universe said you are stronger than you know

And the universe said you are the daylight

And the universe said you are the night

And the universe said the darkness you fight is within you

And the universe said the light you seek is within you

And the universe said you are not alone

And the universe said you are not separate from every other thing

And the universe said you are the universe tasting itself, talking to itself, reading its own code

And the universe said I love you because you are love."

Happy pride month, everyone. Go love and be loved. Kendall

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