I have a degree in teaching and theater, and a few credits shy of another in psychology. What does this mean? Well, it means I take great pleasure in sharing information, and often while doing so, it is with deep conviction, passion, depth, intensity and always theatrical flair. This is fine and dandy in the right setting(s) however, in others, it can very easily annoy, discourage and irritate those around me.
When I came out to my family, I gave them little time to process my news. Any questions or concerns from anyone were met with Shakespearean scorn. I also made it my mission to email, mail, and mention every blog, every book, every television show and every cd or internet link about being gay and Christian. Not one phone conversation ended without being rerouted to talk about my being gay and saved. The years went on and my determination and momentum never slowed. My family (immediate and extended) was constantly inundated with gay-related conversations, gay-related links, gay-related literature, gay-related anything and everything and I was not satisfied unless all were in complete agreement with me. In retrospect, I was nothing less than a bully. I honestly do not think that much of anything I ever said or sent was even remotely listened to or read. Moreover, I am rather confident I pushed people away and jeopardized both my respect, as well as, relationships with many near and dear.
One Sunday our preacher gave the most beautiful sermon about how God overwhelmingly loves all of His children (every race, every orientation, every gender etc.) and blessed their lives. I could not fully enjoy the service because the entire time I was so excited and fixated on all the family members that were going to get a copy of this message and be completely transformed. As soon as possible, I attained a copy of the message and for the next several weeks did nothing but burn cd after cd. I purchased CD envelopes and gathered all my families’ addresses (I have well over one hundred first cousins so this was a very time-consuming and laborious process). I was on a mission; this was going to be life-changing and how exciting when the veil of ignorance finally lifts from my family’s eyes and revelation saturates hearts and minds.
The day came when my huge box of copied and addressed CDs were ready to be delivered. I prayed the usual prayer over them that I have the last decade or so. This time, however, I felt something very different. I had a profoundly unsettling feeling in my spirit. I could not quite put my finger on the awkward sensation in my soul but it was then I heard and felt the Lords soft and gentle voice. “You have done it your way for years; now I want you to do it mine!” Don’t send the cd’s I thought/asked?!? Certainly, this could not be God because this was the great information my family so desperately needed to hear and was going to be life-changing for them. I immediately began rebuking Satan to stop taunting me. God’s words, however, continued to play over and over in my mind and wrestle my will. I eventually asked, “Well God, what is your way?” As long as I shall live, I will never forget the two words that literally changed my life; “Just live!” I sat motionless for a few moments staring at the wall dazed at the profound words that just repositioned my life. I slowly slid the box of cd’s under my bed and silently wept. I cried thinking of all the time wasted and relationships damaged simply because I chose to do things my way and not seek Gods.
As I lay in bed I recalled something I heard in church as a little boy. I heard, “you are often the only Bible people are reading.” I remember thinking at the time that the statement was pretty reflective and weighty. As professing Christians we are constantly watched, judged, and assessed in everything we do and say. It is important to ask yourself periodically “when people watch me, what type of Christ are they seeing, and is it a reflection of the true Christ?”
To this day, I still have my box of cd’s, yet I do what I was advised. I just live! Not only is my life far more peaceful, but I know I have won many hearts to God and opened many an eye to the truth that He does, in fact, have and love His gay children.
Every person and life is unique, and each of us with an individual calling. Some of us are singers, politicians, etc., who spread the equality message globally. Some have other platforms that God uses to share his enduring love of inclusion including those like me who were chosen to “just live.” Pebbles make mountains and raindrops make seas. All we may see at times is the small ripple we make in the water but we forget that Gods message is riding on those eventual immeasurable waves. What Bible is being read when others watch you? God bless you, today and always.
* For other gay Christian blogs click here http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/sanity *