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A story about God’s love, from Mission, S.D.: Last night, I stopped at the grocery store for a quick trip in, and was stopped by one of those traveling missionaries who come to the Rosebud each summer. Because I was wearing my clericals, he knew I was a minister of some sort, which was the first question he asked me: “What denomination?” I told him I was an Episcopal priest. He wanted to know if I knew whether I was going to heaven when I died. I told him, “Yep. Because Jesus said so.”

That’s when he got very excited: “So you know Jesus in your heart!” (Which I translated to, “So you’ve been saved!”) Told him I knew I was saved because it happened, oh, 2,000 years ago, on a Friday afternoon, about 3 p.m., outside the gates of Jerusalem.

And then he did what I suspected he would do all along. “So as a person of faith, what do you think of what they’ve done in Minnesota, where they are letting gay people get married?”

“It’s fine with me,” I said.

All of his happiness then fled. “The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah …”

I was rude. I did not not let him finish his sentence. “Sir, I could spend the next four hours explaining to you what that sin really is. If you want to do that, let me know. Because I know a heck of a lot more about this than you apparently do.”

“You’re going to hell,” he said.

Me?

I went inside the store and did my shopping. At the checkout line, where I know all the folks, I told them about “that guy out there.” They rolled their eyes. I told my friends, “We don’t need any more folks coming here to tell us we can only go to heaven if we believe what THEY believe. Sheesh!”

Everyone agreed.

I went home a happy woman.

Because I know – I KNOW – that God knows more than I do, and that since God’s answer is love, mine has to be as well.

End of story.

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