A little story about God’s love …

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.


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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About Lauren Stanley

All my life, it seems, I’ve been on mission. And it’s all my mother’s fault. You see, when I was a child, my mother was adamant: We were to help those in need, those who had less than we did. We were to speak for those who could not speak, feed those who had no food, give water to those who were thirsty.