Six days ago, I posted I’m Christian, unless you’re gay. The response has been overwhelming (to say the least). Nearly half a million people have already read it. Nearly 2,000 comments have come in. It’s seen the greatest first-week traffic of any post I’ve ever shared here on SDL.
As I hit the “publish” button last Monday evening, I honestly feared it would be the end of Single Dad Laughing. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just really scary to attempt to write something that, if done incorrectly, could anger not just one part of the population but nearly every part of the population. That post covers some very hot ground. I think you’d agree.
But I also said in the beginning of that post that, in order to finally write it and publish it, I had to care more about the message than I did about any potential backlash. That was more of a pep talk I was giving myself in order to keep from hitting the “trash” link on yet another draft of it.
Anyway, I’ve read just about every single comment that has come through and I won’t lie… I was brought to tears several times by some of the things that were shared. I don’t think anybody could read through the comments without being at least somewhat changed. But what you all didn’t get to see were the hundreds of personal emails that I received in the wake of the post
Some were horrific. They testified of the need for the message beyond anything that I ever read in the comments. A couple were threatening and attacking. Others guaranteed that my passage to hell was assured. Thankfully, the vast majority were kind and encouraging and full of hope.
There have also been a handful that have been so powerful that they momentarily flipped my world upside down. There have been a handful that have melted me down into a puddle of emotion, unable to speak for fear I’d lose whatever was causing my heart to pound. Some of these were powerful in their beauty. Others in their ugliness.
I tried to read some of these aloud to the woman I’ve recently started dating. I couldn’t finish most of them. I couldn’t even start others.
I’ll be sharing a couple of less than beautiful responses first, and I only do so because I believe they will make the others that much more powerful. It’s the beautiful responses that are most important, and I want to share with you those responses that meant more than the world to me when I received them. To some degree, they’ve changed the very definition of who I am. They made me realize that no matter how anybody responds to this post, it’s already been worth it. I’ve shared two of these on the Facebook wall with you already, so forgive me for those that some of you might have seen already.
Each response on this post will be on its own page, mostly so that you can share links to individual responses on Facebook and Twitter if you like. The first two are among the responses I received that I feel prove the need for this message. The last five prove the power of living the message. The power of giving. And, the power of love even when we disagree with one another.
At the end of this post I have a challenge for you. I seriously hope you take me up on it.
I also hope you’ll share this post. I hope you’ll encourage everybody you know to come read it. These responses are a hundred times more powerful than anything I could ever write, I promise you that. You see, my original post was made of words and ideas. Hope. Encouragement. Love. What you will read today are all real-life examples of those words and ideas.
I realize that a lot of you received your own dose of backlash on the links you posted to the original post. Reposting it took serious guts for many of you. I hope the small amount of backlash you saw didn’t scare you from sharing the message but instead enforced the need for you to share the message all the more. That’s what it’s done for me, at least.
More than anything, I hope that these messages serve as all the proof you need that sometimes posting a link does a whole lot more than just putting text in front of a person’s face. Sometimes leaving a comment does a whole lot more than just saying what you want to say. Sometimes lives are changed. Sometimes families are changed. Sometimes communities are changed. And ultimately, sometimes, the world.
Click on page 2 below to read the first response.