I have wanted to review this book for months but find it nearly impossible to organize my thoughts into a coherent review. Don’t get me wrong. I love this book and wholeheartedly applaud Andrew Marin’s bridge-building work between Christian and gay communities.
I first became aware of the book from a review at Internetmonk.com. After reading Love Is An Orientation I immediately bought five additional copies to give away. So, you see, while I struggle to write a review it has nothing to do with the content.
My problem, I find it difficult to write about this topic without my own emotions churning out of control.
I can’t discuss this book without my thoughts turning to a young family friend who practically lived at out house his senior year of high school. I didn’t know what was going on in his family, and didn’t pry. His only comment was that our house was quiet.
Years later this young man and his roommates were moving to a new apartment. I was helping them get the old place cleaned out. While the others took a load of furniture to the new apartment, he and I stayed behind to clean out the refrigerator. In the stillness of that empty apartment he told me everything. At 16 his parents found out that he was gay. They thought they could beat him into going straight.
He told me the whole story and the pain in my heart was unbearable. The next day, back home, I spent the entire day crying. How could parents do this to their own! Why?
Before that day, I would have said this really wasn’t my issue. After that day, after I cried until my eyes ached, I really didn’t have a choice. This cruelty must stop. We are also culpable by our silence. Do you know what compassion is, the compassion that Christ taught? It begins by looking at people as HUMAN! None of us are merely our sexuality.
Too often we look for one identifiable trait to label each person we encounter: The fat girl. The computer geek. The drunk. The great singer. The girl with a criminal record. The woman with the funny accent. That guy obsessed with politics. The boy with the really cool car. The annoying Christian. The man in the wheelchair. The gay guy. Once labeled it becomes so easy to file away in mental boxes marked Good and Bad or Desirable and Undesirable. Now, no longer diverse individuals with successes and failures, a past a future, emotions, aspirations, impulses and fragilities, we needn’t consider how much we may have in common. Once condemned or elevated by our labels, we may trample underfoot or place high up on pedestals. The labels make them, thems – maybe worse than us or better than us, but no way could they be us. And this, my friends, leaves no room for compassion.
Just as I suspected, I veered pretty far from the book I intended to review. But since some of you have also read Andrew Marin’s book, perhaps you will have more to say.
This is a close as I can get to a review:
If you are a parent and your son or daughter have just come out to you, or if you are a pastor and a member of your congregation wants to talk about same-sex attractions. If you are a teacher, friend, sibling, co-worker, neighbor, I beg you to read this book before you walk away and slam the door on this treasured individual.
Twitter gives users a generous 160 characters for a bio. Here’s mine.
This freeze was January 20 1977, the night before Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. Daddy always referred to it as ‘the Carter freeze’. He had always heard that it would snow in hell before another Southerner was elected president. There were snow flurries in south Florida and he thought Miami was pretty close to hell.
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Lynn’s Review: A Time To Speak a biography by Ava Lee Holly
Categories: A Time To Speak, Project Updates, Sarah's Updates Tags: ava, biographies, books, boyhood, bully, dago, Florida, great depression, happy to be in school, holly, husband fred, lakeland, lakeland florida, library books, poor eyesight, remarkable lady, remarkable story, rough times, rural alabama, Sarah Mankowski, st augustine
Another Amazon list for readers who enjoy A Time To Speak