FAMILIES AND FRIENDS
FROM PYRAMIDS TO WHEELS
Often we connect with families struggling with the sudden awareness that a family member is LGBTQIA+. This new awareness can be stressful and awkward for all the family members. Feelings and emotions can range in all directions, causing confusion and misunderstandings. It’s more common than many families realize until they suddenly are spinning in their own emotional tornado.
So moms and dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, there are many authentic and successful ways to calm the tornado and bring new knowledge and understandings to enrich your family. It isn’t always easy or simple but it is lovingly possible following Jesus’ methods. But first, let’s take a closer look at what and how today’s organizations can complicate our personal journeys.
Most SDA Kinship families, friends, and allies are comfortable members of the Adventist faith—a faith that since its beginning has been creating many pillars and detailed beliefs. Its management shape has grown from the top down like an enormous pyramid, a leading small organization at the top flowing down to divisions to unions to conferences finally to local churches. But if you look at pyramids closely, you will find they can become very large, inert, solid objects which don’t move easily. In fact, even if the largest part of the pyramid, the bottom layers, which are our many churches, want to make changes and adjustments, they can push and pull with minimum movement. They may even tip the pyramid over, but it is still a solid and inert object.
As comfortable members of the pyramid, many families believe what the pyramid teaches and believes, which complicates a family’s ability to shift or change emotionally. Pyramids survive on transactions. They judge and demand you follow their statements and decisions, making you feel uncomfortable and guilty if you don’t.
As a family that has experienced the pyramid, we accidentally, but intentionally, desired to update our understandings and knowledge of our son’s inbred desires and emotions. We discovered he did not decide to be gay; those desires and emotions flowed from the internal wirings and connections in his brain. Today, as professional medical and psychological studies continue to discover and share, all LGBTQIA+ variations are acceptable variations in our individual DNAs.
As we became aware and accepting of enormous amounts of knowledge, our pyramid became a wheel. Our wheel rolls easily; it can change directions comfortably with new knowledge and experiences. It adjusts and adapts to enrich our family. We moved from meeting requirements and judgments (transactions) to accepting and sharing (transformations).
Jesus lived his life the same way. Look at His actions with the woman at the well. He was quietly sitting at the well, resting from a lengthy trek, when a nervous woman dashed to the well for water. She was also tired and nervous and Jesus could have just helped her fill her jug—a transaction done and accomplished—but instead, he asked her questions. He gave her insight and new visions. He empowered her to change, to adjust, and she did. Her life was changed and enriched. She escaped her pyramid and found her new life wheel.
Transactions and judgments impede understandings and adjustments. If you are struggling as a family, ask yourself: Are we trapped inside our faith pyramid? Is it impeding our abilities as parents and family members to understand, adjust, and love all family members? Would you like to find your own family wheel which can move and adjust to your own family desires and needs?
It’s your wheel! Together all families can create their own wheel and follow Jesus’s example of showing love and support to all the folks he met and spoke to. Jesus escaped the belief pyramid he grew up in. God showed Him how to help normal people (families) to find their life wheels and Jesus gave us God’s solutions.
Let’s wheel down the road of life together as we spin circles around those old-fashioned pyramids.
Hugs from John & Carolyn Wilt,
Coordinators for SDA Kinship Families & Friends