Bigger Shoes to Fill

Recently, Blake Mycoskie has has been in the news after speaking at a Focus on Family event. Focus on the Family is said to be ” anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-evolution–basically anti-everything a lot of TOMS wearers believe in.” Mycoskie claimed he didn’t realize the beliefs of FOTF and wouldn’t have arranged the speaking engagement if he had.

Lots of columnists and bloggers aren’t buying it, citing the fact that he also spoke at Abilene Chrisitan University.  ACU refused students who wanted to start a Gay-Straight Alliance on campus earlier this year, making them part of a larger problem in many Christian schools.  A lot of these writers have accused TOMS and Mycosckie of being Anti-Gay and hiding a political agenda under canvas, vegan wraps.

I just ordered some new TOMS. A sweatshirt, too, even. Here’s why I’m still on the one-for-one boat:

I guess my issue in all of this stems from several branches. First of all, I honestly think that Blake Mycoskie wants to puts shoes (and now glasses) on kids who need them. Somebody who has taken that kind of calling and turned it into something so prolific is someone that I have a lot of respect for to begin with. As my mom put it in a text message to me earlier today: “I say: who cares? He and everybody else all want the little kids to have shoes.”

And, really, she’s got us there. They all want the little kids to have shoes.

Not to be confusing. There is nothing that hurts my heart and head and stomach at the same time like intolerance. As Carly Payne mocks me for sounding like: “I CAN’T STAND INTOLERANCE!” But seriously. I think that people who hate others and want to ‘fix’ people because their sexual orientation are the ones who could use a little fixing. No one deserves to be treated like they are less of a person than any one else, and everyone should be welcomed to walk along our journey to a better Kingdom.

That being said, I think that people who have different beliefs than I do deserve the exact same benefit–the ability to walk along on our journey to a better Kingdom. In this case, I would have to say that what TOMS are good shoes to wear and a good step on that walk. (Please excuse the cheesy picture that paints).

Let the little kids have shoes. Let us get closer on our walk to a better Kingdom. Let us take everyone we can find–regardless of sexual orientation, but also regardless or beliefs otherwise–with us on our walk.

We’ve all got a little bit of Jesus. And I think our cross is best carried together if we can manage not to elbow each other in the eye.

It’s not worth the argument. I’ve got bigger shoes to fill.

May we not be of one heart?

“At present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me.” —from a letter in the Works of John Wesley

Maybe this is why the UMC is so inclined toward indecisiveness and agreeableness. While doing a study on the Social Principles with my youth group, Jim (my awesome youth director’s awesome husband) would ask us what the Church said on whatever issue we were discussing. Lots of No’s, lots of Yes’s and then every time there was one “The church says, ‘we don’t like it…but we love you anyway.'”

That was me.

Often the Church gives us a strong, unwavering “We don’t really know.” as the answer to the issues of the world. I’m very indecisive, have very malleable opinions, and I don’t really hate anybody, no matter what they do. That’s why I’m a fan of being a United Methodist (not to mention connectionalism, which is an entirely different kind of magic to me).

But when I recently got into an argument on whether or not dogs went to Heaven. I had a strong, unwaivering, “I know this one! Dogs go to heaven. So do flowers!”

And when they asked me, “Why would God let dogs go to Heaven?” I just said, “Because he loves them. Why wouldn’t he let dogs go to Heaven?”

Here is the UMC’s stance on dogs going to Heaven. Typical.

I eventually came to the conclusion that, even if dogs don’t go to Heaven, why would you try to say that they didn’t. Because the way I see it, the only benefit from convincing someone that dogs don’t go to Heaven is that you’re right and they’re wrong. And that’s really great for you, but you haven’t done anything for God.

Odds are, if you don’t think dogs go to Heaven, it’s not that important to you, but you could be making a big impact on the faith of someone else by arguing against it. Whether we like it or not, God didn’t give us life so we could argue.

There are some people who you will miss the chance to love and minister with if you deny them little things like dogs going to Heaven.

So why would you?

“Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences.” —from a sermon in the Works of John Wesley

Additionally, church sign debates are hilarious. Check out this one.

Jesus works at the Metro Desk

I’ve been a lame internet presence the past three weeks, because I just started my internship at The Dallas Morning News.  I’m having a whole lot of fun and learning a whole lot of stuff about how I write too much and not conversationally enough. But more than anything, I’ve been spending the days with some truly hilarious and awesome people. In the cubicle next to me is an editor who mixes his Slim Fast half-and-half with ice cream (and is losing a lot of weight, by the way.)  There are two lovely office managers who organized cook out in the parking garage this week. My editor, who is one 24-pack of Diet Pepsi from being my dad, spends his days “being the desk.” And additionally, the other interns are wonderful, because they are all as nerdy and chatty as I am.

I was very apprehensive upon starting. I mean, in MY newsroom, there’s a lot of yelling and inside jokes. And I follow Overheard Newsroom on twitter…that doesn’t help. But contrary to what I thought, when I’m out on assignment, other reporters and editors are sending me texts and emails saying things like “Don’t walk down the access road. Stay safe!” and Don’t forget to eat something.” Sometimes they print off directions for me even though my phone has a GPS. And above all, they are extremely patient. My editor helped me cut one of my stories  in half, even though there was a substantial amount of Dallas County Controversy he was handling. Another editor spent half an hour helping me call the British Embassy, which was not easy to do through the DMN phone system.

I think we overlook these things when we aren’t expecting the worst, but when some one notices…it makes a big difference to them. So even though Tom probably doesn’t see it as likely that I’ll forget to eat or get run over on the access road or any of those things, the fact that he says something is a big deal to me. And even though Bruce could put up my story when it isn’t at its best or not put it up at all, the fact that he takes the time to go through it with me matters to me.

So now I’m thinking: what chances are we missing to reach people, just because we don’t think of these as a big deal? If it’s not a big deal, then why don’t we do it just for the possibility that we might reach someone like me, that it really changes things for.