As I sit in my hotel room, waiting for my other roommates to finish getting ready so that we can go down to breakfast together, I'm not sure if the reality of the Equality Ride has set in yet. Yes I went to Austin, TX and Minneapolis, MN for two weeks of training. Yes I drove on a bus for 12 hours, through 4 states to arrive at my destination. Yes I have already talked to my Notre Dame friends who I will get to see in only a short time. But somehow, it still doesn't feel real yet.
I think that is a blessing. I have never known overt homophobia. I have never been scared at my school. At all times, even if I ran into a bump or two along the way, I was surrounded with support systems. I do not have any experiences that might help fully understand the spiritual void that I am about to step into.
I do however know that this must be done. I remember experiencing the change that Rebecca's friend experienced when he came to Los Angeles with her for the Notre Dame football game. He shouldn't have to travel across the country to feel good in his own skin. He shouldn't have to leave his school and his faith community.
If we can start making other students think about this, maybe change is possible. If we can visualize a world in which all of God's children all loved and accepted, exactly as the Creator made them, we can create it.
I pray that students would be open to us. I don't pray that they would be "converted" to our message. Rather I pray that their hearts would be open to our hearts. That we can listen to each other's stories. That we can learn from each other. That we can connect on a basic human level. And when that happens, I'm confident that everyone will agree that oppression of any of God's children is an unacceptable travesty.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.