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The other day I got a message: pray for my friend. So I did. She has some friends who are struggling with homosexuality. I thought, okay.

The core of me pulsed like the heartbeat that moves into your thumb. Something about this was specifically for me. I had spent some time following a friend who was following the Lord. His message and passion were tied up in a foundation, The Marin Foundation, that seeks to elevate the conversation between the gay and church communities. Learning about all the deep-seated hate here had sparked something in me. Something righteous, I think. There’s healing here, I learned. And I’m moving ashamedly out from ignorance, now. So when this message came, I was feeling heavy as hell.

I prayed about this stranger like I was a third grader again and the world didn’t extend far beyond the playground and this friend of my friend’s was my very best friend in the whole wide world. But also not like a third grader, not like Jesus, bless Mommy and Daddy and my puppy, Spike, more like I was caring deeply for the condition of her soul and for her dear friends, these mysterious brothers and sisters in our grand body of Christ. The depth of me was unknowable, even to me. Especially to me. I was praying like an adult–like someone who knew this stranger.

I prayed the principles that Andy has drawn from Scripture in his book; I prayed the practical applications. Will she love tangibly these friends of hers who are struggling? Draw caring mentors and Biblical support systems in swarms around this sexual confusion. Bring truth. Make bold folks that don’t say it’s alright to give in. Can You let no one walk away. Everyone always wants to walk away.

She wasn’t a stranger, this friend I kneeled for more than a time or two–this girl no one knew. I had been on my knees, crushing divots into rough crevice of carpeting, on two specific nights and in-between for my sister, but not just any sister, not just some stranger. This stranger walked with me when I hardly knew Christ, walked through my shame with me, came out and healed with me, lived this life in sorrow and in joy with me. And walked away from me. Or I from her. And still, my heart burns, Let no one walk away.