She burst our laughing.
I laughed too. To be honest, acceptance is not always easy for me. Frankly, I grumble. A lot. About other people. I clench up inside and start grumbling when I see somebody driving a big SUV, not to mention ANY vehicle with one of those “W ‘04” stickers. Or "McCain/Palin." Or anything anti-Obama. Acceptance is something I find myself struggling with every day. But I DO struggle with it, because I don’t want to find myself turning into my father.
When I come to the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, I come to the home I did not have when I was a kid. When I come here, I find myself accepted for who I am, and judged only by what I do. Here, I am not just listened to. I am HEARD. My personal beliefs are not challenged, no matter whether or not those beliefs are shared by anybody else. I come here and I get to meet, and be friends with, and listen to, and share with: Pagans and Buddhists and Jews and Quakers and atheists; recent converts, and lifelong Unitarian-Universalists. What a gift that is!
The Member Reflection part of the service used to deal, not with the sermon topic, but with “How I Became A Unitarian.” They were fun and they were all different in the details, but week after week, we would hear, more often than not, some variation on these five words: “It was like coming home.”
Robert Frost said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Well, Unitarian-Universalism is the home I have to go to. And I’m so honored that week after week, they take me in.
As far as my own personal beliefs go, well, personally, I don’t believe in God, and I don’t believe in any kind of life after this one. But I’ll tell you this: I do believe in redemption. I find redemption in Unitarian-Universalism from my grumbling, from my past, from the worst parts of my self, because I share my journey with like-minded folks. It's a gift I treasure.