Evangelical parents of gays and lesbians find the subject of homosexuality extremely troubling. Two sources contribute greatly to this view: pulpit sermons and social mores.
In 2008, I wrote Tarnished Haloes, Open Hearts hoping my experiences with a gay brother and a gay son would open doors for dialog and acceptance. Like an ever-spiraling circle Tarnished Haloes, Open Hearts, from its inception, bought me treasured remarks. Sometimes it came as a soft whisper of acceptance, as if the person didn’t quite know how to express their view. Strong notes of affirmation and acceptance came from the community where I now live, from parishioners who know my son or me personally, and from of host of friends.
I found your book moving, enlightening and inspiring. I have a good relationship with my gay son.
Your writing comes from deep inside. I feel honored that you shared your growth in life so openly. Your understanding of the Bible matches mine. My lesbian daughter is a joy for me.
I felt your voice and conviction in the Lord. Your book is an outstanding accomplishment.
In April 2019, a group met in Knoxville for the 19th annual Judson-Rice Award Dinner given by Nurturing Faith to honor Wayne Smith for his outstanding work with people living with HIV. Dr. John Pierce, Nurturing Faith’s executive editor, also elected to give recognition to several authors. Each honoree received a framed copy of the jacket of their published book. John introduced me with my six books as their most prolific writer and told the following story:
One day I asked a minister friend if he’d trust me with 15 dollars. The minister said yes and I in return handed him a copy of Lynelle Mason’s Tarnished Haloes, Open Hearts. When the minister got around to reading the book he immediately called me saying, “Here I am thinking I’m thinking I’m way ahead of others in preaching inclusion while this little old lady has been doing it for over 40 years!”
The after glow of Easter reminds me that Jesus expects each of us to be ministers by encouraging each other and demonstrating in tangible ways there is a place at his table for everyone.