Monday, May 9, 2016

Longing for a Better Country

It's because I have always felt like a foreigner and alien here and most everywhere I go. I have never felt like one of you, whoever you are. I might work with you or go to the same church with you or you might be part of my family. I probably even love you if I know you, but I feel unconnected from you and every single thing going on around me for reasons I can't really explain.

Then life's spot light moves toward me and everyone is watching. Weird huh?

It's like I've been watching a movie being made. The plot continues to unfold, then I become part of the cast. I have a role to play. It's a rather involved role that I received as a 'walk on' to the movie set. I started interacting with the cast late in life. I am integral to the plot, but the rest of the cast and writers cannot figure out where to put me so I become self directing, writing my own character as the filming proceeds.  Never mind everyone elses role. A new plot line is in the offing that may give rise to a new film.

Suddenly there is interest in what I have to say and in my role in the film. My character tries to interact. He is having a hard time because he is so different from the others.  The producers worry that he will threaten the "G" rated film they are trying to produce, driving the rating to an "R". Nevertheless, my character boldly asserts himself.

We do not deal well with people that do not conform to our preconceived notions of reality or the plots in our particular films. We have problems with where to put these people in our lives. Then when they take a position front and center in our little celluloid lifetime extravaganzas, we just want to find a way to write them out of the plot.

I can remember when I was young, there were very few black people in films and virtually none on television . When they finally did begin appearing with regularity it was as if no one knew where to put them in the white plot scenarios and so the character usually died somewhere in the film.

This is the way it's been for me and my life. Being a same sex attracted Christian in a conservative American church where everyone knows who you are (including the SSA part) is tough. They think I'm interesting, but I do not think they really know what to do with me. It has been an adventure for everyone involved.  I have felt the acceptance of my brothers and sisters. They empathize with my struggles. They support. They love me. But I still feel like an adopted member of their "movie cast".

It's not their fault. I do not blame them. It's me. I can not get shed of how foreign I feel even though I have a place and a role and have been accepted as a costar in their film.

What is it with me?

I think I know what's missing. I know there are others like me at church. Only one has confided in me his truth, his secret, but I know there are others. One of them just came into the coffee shop where I am writing this. I saw him and he saw me but not at the same time. He came in, got his order and walked out. We did not acknowledge each other's presence.

We go to the same damn church (there goes the 'G' rating). It's not a big church. Not a Sunday goes by that we do not actually see each other or walk by each other. Though he's never been to my class, I regularly see him praising the Lord with his talents, but we have never talked. What is up with that? Is this entirely my fault...or does he too feel alien and foreign? Maybe.

Why can't we be who we are? Why can't we talk? Is this my fault? Is it because I am 'out' in our little movie that we do not talk? Is it because you think I might harbor unvirtuous feelings toward you? Look Bud, I am not an old pervert OK?

(Ghog is projecting here. He does this. When he's too scared to talk to someone, he blames the victim and since, I'm Ghog, I'm not sure why I'm talking parenthetically.)

I know that some have this picture of me in their mind as old, boring and conservative. There is some truth in this, but I think most folks still find me at least interesting. I don't know...or maybe I do.

I know that I wrote last week in a negative way about ministry to same sex attracted people. I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong. I do not often say that and since you know that, you are probably listening.

Guys...we are Sons of the Most High. We should not go through this life with this struggle alone. We need to help and support each other as we stand up for our King. We need some community of our own. I think we all have 'stuff ' we need to unload. Tell me I'm wrong about that! You know I'm not. Let's bust some walls down. I think we are just about ready. I've been trying to educate the straight folks at church and condition them to be able to talk about this stuff. We need to talk too.

I do not feel a call to lead a ministry or a small group. I do not want us to segregate ourselves. I do think we have things we can discuss that only we would understand and be able to help each other with. Is that so crazy? Let me leave you with this from Hebrews 11:13-16.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Lets quit wandering around this desert alone and find our new place to live together in peace with our God. That's all I'm saying.

Does any of this make sense? I hope so. Maybe I need to refine my thought processes. Not sure. I can tell you the Spirit is moving me to do something. I am hoping I don't mess it up. If you are out there and you are like me, pray that he guides me and that I listen. I have this urge to set people free. I do not want to hurt anyone in that process. 

Now let's make this movie.   

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