Posted: Monday, February 23, 2015 1:15 am

By Meredith Tillery


I, Meredith Paige Tillery, a Christian called above all else to love God and to love others, stand firm in my belief that same-sex relationships are not a black-and-white topic. Am I pro? Am I con? Actually, I stand in the gray.

“Gray” to me means being uncertain about that lifestyle. It means being understanding of and sympathetic to LGBT individuals. It means believing what I think doesn’t really matter.

I am a heterosexual female who will never have a strong opinion about same-sex relationships. I’ll never have a firm stance on whether LGBT individuals should be members or staffers at a church – mainly because that’s something I don’t deal with and don’t fully understand.

I am called to love everyone. The thing about love is this: Love means not only extending grace toward others; it means challenging one another in our rights and in our wrongs.

I was talking recently with a friend about my “gray” view of a local church’s decision to welcome LGBT individuals into leadership positions. It was during this conversation when the conviction to first love God – then others – was challenged.

The thing about loving others is that sometimes you have to call others out on their crap – all the while challenging whether our own crap is better or worse. So if I feel this strong conviction to love others, should I not show LGBT individuals my love by embracing them for who they are? Would it be best to show my love by challenging their decisions?

Honestly, just saying those words feels terrifying. I fear that because my “gray” opinion on this topic is different than what I’m told it should be, I might be rejected.

But here’s the thing: Why should I be in fear? Isn’t college supposed to be a safe place to learn and grow? This is a compelling conversation being engaged by more and more NU students, but why is it being engaged in the secrecy of our dorm rooms and apartments?

Because it feels awkward and uncomfortable – especially for Christians. And that’s okay. Isn’t it in the awkward and uncomfortable where we learn and grow the most? Isn’t that an imperative for growing up?

As students of NU, I encourage us to begin talking more openly about this topic without fear of rejection. I simply don’t know which way I’m leaning on same-sex relationships. I stand in the gray. And that’s perfectly OK because it’s in this place I’ve learned the most.