This should be what the Church gives people. It should give them a place. It should be the spot where all prodigals feel they’ve come home. It should be the building with the biggest table. We’ve been led to believe that the goal of equality is to somehow make differences disappear, yet in reality it is to be profoundly aware of them and to recognize them as beautiful and valuable and necessary. The virtue is not in ignoring our various distinctions but in celebrating them; not in pretending as though they don’t exist, but in believing that their existence makes us a better version of humanity as we live together in community. Yes, there is much about us that is universal: the desire to be heard and known, the need to be loved and to love, the joy of finding our place and purpose, and the need to live into these without restraint. Championing equality is to see every person as fully deserving of such things and to work so that each can pursue them with as little obstacle as possible from both without and within. Yet we also need to realize and name the ways in which equality is not a default setting in the world and to acknowledge the very real barriers many experience simply because of the color of their skin or their gender identity or their land of origin.
— John Pavlovitz, A Bigger Table, p. 92
Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 20, 2020