What’s the charitable response to a coworker or acquaintance telling you things like:
“I just started today. I’m Cynthia. I’m transgender.”
“I’m Mike. My husband works in accounting.”
“My girlfriend actually works with my ex-husband, so we both get to complain about him.”
“I really want my wife sign the divorce papers so my fiancee and I can get married before the baby is born in June.”
I’m at a loss for how wicked the circle of friends, coworkers and family has become over the past two years. In that time:
- two family members have divorced, one is living with his new fiancee, the other is discovering gay night-life
- I’ve started working for a very inclusive company that has a lot of LGBTQ people. All very nice and pleasant but I feel uncomfortable congratulating them on their marriages (which are recently-legal in Missouri), but know I’ll lose my job if I say anything against them.
- My best friend came out and has been dating men.
I am the kind of person who people ask for advice and I’m known for being a good listener. I try to be uplifting and encouraging, I try to see Christ in people, and now I find myself extremely challenged. I have not been able to speak the truth to these folks, yet I know they know I’m Catholic, and I feel that I have erred in not speaking the whole truth. At the same time, I haven’t seen a opening where I can say “what you’re doing is a terrible sin and will condemn you if you don’t repent and change your lifestyle.”
My cousin’s divorce has been very troubling for a number of reasons (his wife is abusive to the kids and has done a number of illegal things after he left, including stalking, harassing his new fiancee and other family members, and identity theft), the least of which is that I’m at a loss as to how to witness to him. At one point, he’s crying on my shoulder, terrified he’ll lose custody of his kids and feeling completely isolated from our conservative family; at another point, he’s bringing his live-in girlfriend over for dinner and his kids call her “Mom” and show her more affection and joy than they’ve shown their biological Mom.
If you read this and can’t think of anything to say, please pray for everyone I’ve mentioned here, and pray for me to discern and be a voice for God. If you have any practical advice, I’d really appreciate it.