I used to call her my girl, but that was before she became a 19-year-old young woman. She’s still my daughter, Virginia, however, and I’ve never been more amazed by this college sophomore—and more called to the work before us in the United Methodist Church to #ResistHarm—than right now.
My name is Tom Lee (he, him, his), and I’m a lay person and a 32-year-member of West End United Methodist Church in Nashville. My church means everything to me. My spouse, Laurie, and I were married there. The ashes of our son, Hayden, are interred in the columbarium there. And it’s where Virginia was baptized and confirmed.
The United Methodist Church raised Virginia. It’s where she sang in the children’s choir, played handbells, attended Sunday School, went on mission trips, received her first Bible, and took communion. All these graces were freely offered by the love of the church and its good, good people. And yet, our church withholds graces from Virginia—and, thereby, all of us—for no reasons other than who she is. I cannot walk Virginia down the aisle of her wedding at West End, because she cannot be married there. And, should she one day find God’s call on her life to the ministry, she cannot fulfill it in our church.
This harm is shameful, and it must stop. That is why our family is committed to resisting it, in all its forms and however it presents itself, including at General Conference and the Southeast Jurisidictional Conference, where I’ll represent the Tennessee Conference this year as a lay delegate.
I intend to be as courageous in who God made me as Virginia is in who God made her. I hope you will, too.
Why not begin your day in prayer? Go to https://resistharm.com/prayers/february-9-15/ for our daily prayer guide.