Finding Wisdom and Encouragement from Dan Cathy

A few weeks ago, I was sitting next to my sweet friend, Angela Thomas, at an Extraordinary Women event. She tugged on my sleeve. “Have you heard the story of Dan Cathy and Shane Windemeyer?”

“Um, no,” I said.

“Google it–you’ve got to read it, that’s the story that isn’t getting out.”In the blur of speaking and hugging what felt like a thousand women, I soon forgot about the article.

Early this week, I read the news of Rob Bell speaking at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral and openly endorsing marriage equality.

I read a few of the top headlines, and winced. I couldn’t stomach reading any more. What can I say? I’m allergic to Haterade.

That afternoon an unexpected email arrived from my friend Angela with a link to the article about Dan Cathy. You may have read it months ago. But for me, at the perfect time, the story left me wonderstruck.

Shane L. Windemeyer, a nationally recognized LGBT leader, tells how he was befriended by Dan Cathy, president and COO of Chick-fil-A. In the wake of a national campaign against Chick-fil-A for millions donated to organizations that are considered anti-LGBT, this was no small feat.

You can read the article here.

What’s interesting is that if Shane hadn’t broken the story, we’d probably never know.

It made me wonder how many other Christian leaders are working behind the scenes to navigate this issue that has so many political, religious, legal, moral, personal, familial, financial complexities.

The story of Dan Cathy reaching out to Shane Windmeyer reminded me that this issue isn’t easy to navigate. And if you ever see someone try to sum it up in a cliché or bumper sticker, run.

This issue will continue to bring the church to our knees. In prayer. In humility. In our ability to love God and love others—in word, deed, and action.

May we learn and be inspired from Dan Cathy along the way. As Christians we can choose to show respect, kindness, and love to others—yes, even when we mightily disagree—and engage in civil dialogue even on difficult issues all the while reflecting Christ.

You are welcome to comment on this blog, but know that haterade will not be tolerated.