In late 2015, I was asked by Foothills United Methodist Church in La Mesa, CA to give a concert as part of their Reconciling Ministries program, which seeks to reach out to LGBTQ members of the church and general community to make amends for past exclusion. I was asked to speak on the four types of love talked about in the Bible, and to sing songs that reverberated with those themes. When I came to romantic love, I told the following story, which then became a song, and now, a video. -Danielle LoPresti
I was raised Catholic and was the classic achievement-focused child. I took everything very seriously. School, church, family, friends– everything. I tried hard to become excellent at things - not only physically, but spiritually. To my dismay, it occurred to me one day that the only boys I ever had crushes on were the “cute” ones. I became very concerned about this. I began to actually feel afraid. I thought, for sure, that God would punish me for this vanity. I knew that we were supposed to strive to become enlightened - to see beyond the surface, into a person’s heart, to love for who a person is on the inside, regardless of what they look like.
But, as the years progressed, this tendency of mine didn’t seem to lessen. My handsome boyfriends were kind people, but it appeared that they still had to be attractive for me to develop feelings for them. Little did I know, however, that one day I’d actually be able to fall in love with a human being who looked nothing like the handsome men that had always been my “type." Little did I know that I would be able to fall in love with someone precisely because they were the most loving, thoughtful, supportive person I’d ever met... and having nothing at all to do with them being tall, dark and handsome. Interestingly that person - was a woman.
This most pure act, choosing someone completely because of who they were on the INSIDE – ironically ended up pitting me opposite the most religious people in my community. Here I was loving someone for all the reasons I’d learned that God wanted us to choose our mate, and I was now hated by religious people near and far for it. This feeling became overwhelmingly painful during Prop 8, especially when driving by neighbors’ houses who had the "Yes on 8" signs up on their lawns. I thought, "how could such vitriolic rhetoric be cast upon something so honest, so pure? How can the teachings from a book centered around the principle of love, be used to wield such incredible hate?" I’ve come to realize that the only possible answer is ignorance.
Here’s the Truth - loving my spouse is the holiest thing I have ever done in relationship.