“Mommy… Can two women get married?”
I looked at my six-year-old daughter’s large, brown eyes and I said, “Not legally in our state.” It wasn’t a good answer, but it was true, and she accepted it without further questioning. In my defense, she was only six and she had caught me off guard. (Note to new mommas… the questions only get harder.)
That was 25 years ago.
Kirsten Powers, opinion columnist for USA Today, has written a piece about a topic I attempted to draw attention to in I’ve Changed. As Kirsten says much more eloquently, “it’s critical to remember that people are not the sum of their worst moments in life.” Give it a read, and consider the complex terrain of a life lived.
It’s fairly common these days to find at least one breaking story about someone in a high position who’s done something in their past that—now known—makes them unqualified to hold the position they’re in. Let’s be honest, though. Each one of us—no matter where we’re from or what age we are—has done something stupid, embarrassing, or inexplicable at some point in our lives that we’d rather just keep to ourselves. For the majority of us, that something will remain forever hidden in our past. But for those in the public eye, once their grand error in judgment makes the news, their fate will be decided by the general populous—a group generally not described as “forgiving.”
I remember watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series as a child and being awestruck by it, yet also wondering… Where does God fit in this? How does he figure into the universes, galaxies, super novas, and life? I even remember asking if it could be possible that God created evolution (a suggestion quickly brushed away by both my science and Sunday School teachers). I didn’t understand. Why couldn’t science and religion just get along?
I had just taken a sip of coffee and was staring absentmindedly at the menu, feeling the stress of another workweek beginning to slip away… and then it started. First as a small whine, I don’t waaaant to; then it amplified into a full-blown tantrum… aaaaaahhhhhh [crying] nooooooooo [kicking the chair]. No, it wasn’t me telling my husband how much I didn’t want to go back to work on Monday. It was the small, but hearty-lunged, child at the table next to us expressing his displeasure with his parents. I glanced over and caught their exasperated faces and slumped shoulders as they asked for to-go boxes while wrestling a coat onto their child (who seemed to have turned into an octopus). I wanted to tell them it was just a phase, like teething or potty-training. But, I never was a good liar.