As news of our impending visist spreads around the country, reporters, bloggers, students, and administrators have begun to talk about it publicly. I haven't really responded to many of these reports, but one that I read today from The Point (graciously forwarded by East Bus Co-Director Jarrett Lucas) piqued my interest.
Let's pray for all the Christian colleges on Equality Ride's tour schedule. Pray that God would protect the minds and lives of the students on these campuses, some of whom may be struggling with these issues or who may have never before been confronted with them. Pray that God would give wisdom to the administration at each school to know how to handle these uninvited guests. And pray that the men and women participating in Equality Ride will be overwhelmed by God's grace and compassion as they visit these schools. Pray that they would see an irresistible passion and love for God and for others shining on the faces and in the lives of the people they meet on these campuses.Amen! It is interesting, even comforting to me, that Ms. Steakly and I have the exact same wish for our time on these campuses (though, we certainly hold different beliefs on the matter). The Equality Ride has never been shy about our aim to visit in love, for conversation, and with compassion.
As a Christian, I am daily overwhelmed by God's grace and compassion; He is my joy and my strength. It is my prayer that every individual be blessed with such a wonderful relationship as is found in the Lord. I suppose where our views diverge is how exactly we realize that vision. And it should be noted that some schools on our itinterary (Pepperdine for instance) are happy to have us come and engage the campus on these topics.
It still surprises me that individuals are shunned from the Christian community because of their love for another child of God. I pray for those on all campuses struggling with these issues, that they will know God loves and affirms them. That He has not, and will not, turn His back on them. That they will not be elbowed out of communion in Christ because of misguided and unquestioned prejudices. That they will never be deprived of the grace that is God. May God's light shine through me and the many other Christian riders.
And I pray for those students who have never had to even think about these issues. That they will open their hearts, prayerfully and with careful meditation, to ALL perspectives on this issue. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 instructs us to "Examine all things. Hold on to those which are good." That is all I ask.
Only eight more days, I am excited! In Christ, Brian