Sometimes I find myself nudged to do something but don’t really know why—until later, that is. This was the case today.
This morning as I was getting ready for a medical appointment, I glanced at my dresser. Winking at me was my “You’re safe with me” rainbow pin. I almost ignored the little wink it gave me but decided that there was no telling who might need to see it today, so I quickly tacked it on my top and left the house.
When I got to the doctor’s office, the receptionist handed me a clipboard and asked me to fill out paperwork so that they could update my records. Good patient that I am, I happily complied: first providing my name, then my birthdate, then my home address, and on down the predictable line.
When the form asked me to check “male” or “female,” I paused. Not because I wasn’t sure of my gender but because, in that moment, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to be a non-binary person being confronted with a choice that genuinely didn’t apply. How would it feel to be made invisible like that, to have my God-given, precious identity ignored? My heart hurt for those I don’t know.
It was then that I realized I could do something. Instead of just ticking “female” and moving on with the form, I paused to write in a suggestion. “Please consider adding ‘non-binary’ here,” I scribbled in the margins of my paperwork.
When I took my clipboard back to the receptionist, I decided to leave nothing to chance. As I handed my paperwork over to her, I smiled, then quickly reached up and tapped my rainbow pin, saying, “I’m an ally. I would like to suggest that this form be revised so that non-binary people are included.”
The woman at the counter smiled back and said, “I’ll bring this to the office manager’s attention.” When I return next year and fill out the paperwork again, I’ll be interested to see if the form has been updated. If not, I’ll make my suggestion again. If so, I will thank this practice for being more inclusive.
We are allies to the LGBTQIA community in big ways when we show up for Pride in Ridgway in June or take to the streets in Grand Junction in early fall. But there are countless ways we can be allies on ordinary days—this little example today being one.
Our call as Christian allies extends further than the LGBTQIA community, of course. We can be allies to the Hispanic community, to those experiencing homelessness, to women whose voices might otherwise go unheard or invalidated. Our allyship begins by paying attention, by viewing the world through eyes different than our own.
Maybe that rainbow pin helped me see what I might otherwise have overlooked had I not been nudged to wear it this morning. Or maybe I got the nudge because Spirit knew I would need a quiet, non-threatening way to frame my “non-binary” option. Who knows. I’m just grateful I had a chance to use a little bit of my privilege to speak up for those who might be too shy to do so themselves. That’s what allies do—they speak up and stand up for those in the margins.
What Spirit-nudges might come your way today? Tomorrow? In the coming week? How might the Spirit quietly coax you to make a difference on behalf of someone or someones in the world? May we all be helped to notice and respond to the Spirit’s unexpected promptings as we go about our days.
With you on the journey,