October 17, 2008
Through The Door
As I watch events unfold surrounding Father Geoffrey Farrow, I can’t help but think how I might feel in a similar situation. So many speak in awed tones of courage and compassion, and I am the first to admit I am among them. A combination of integrity, anger, determination, fear and anticipation had to accompany that moment when there was no turning back.
We all have moments when we stand at the open door, having to decide whether we will walk through, for the door will close shortly, whether in our faces or at our backs. The decision is irrevocable and sends us on our way.
I walked blindly for so many years, swept along past doors of decision at the whim of the currents of life. I dealt with what life handed me reactively and not always well. Frequently badly. Regrets? Honestly, only for those times when I hurt others. All else is learning. Boy, have I learned a lot.
Stepping through that door can be uncomfortable to terrifying. But you already know that, don’t you, whether you’ve taken that step or not. It is equally comforting to exhilarating to have passed through. That is not to say it always turns out well. But to have taken the step, to have gone through the mental and emotional contortions required to be able to step, is a life-giving moment regardless of the consequences.
You stand at that open door for this moment in time for civil marriage for same-sex couples. You stand at another door when you see or hear someone being hurt by discriminatory behavior. You stand at a door when you face the choice to speak or write or say nothing.
You can be swept along in the tides, passing those doors of decision. If you do, you may not complain with my earshot—or anyone else’s, for that matter—about the state of things. You think you have no power? You’re right—as long as you choose not to act. Do one small thing. (Don’t look over your shoulder; I’m talking to you.) Step through the door and know what it is to act for your own good or the good of others.