Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Washed and Waiting

I've been reading "Washed and Waiting" by Wesley Hill. It's a tough read for me because I identify with so many of the things he says in his book about his early life and trying to live as a celibate gay Christian. His attitude was much better than mine when he was younger and he understood early on that you should not isolate yourself; some wisdom that I would have done well to heed. Even so, it is a painful read. I'm sort of having flashbacks. He was never angry; just sad and sometimes without hope. I was pissed off about the whole thing. It was a great wall of separation between God and myself that, thankfully, He is now tearing down. I say "thankfully" even though I spent so much time building it.

At one of his low points, when Wes was still living in the midwest, he went back to Wheaton College where he had earned his degree, to get the counsel of an old friend. His friend told him,

"Origen, the great Christian theologian of the early church, believed that our souls existed with God before we were born. What if he was right? I don't believe he was, but imagine for a moment if he were. Imagine yourself standing in the presence of God, looking down from heaven on the earthly life you are about to be born into, and God says to you, 'Wes, I'm going to send you into the world for sixty or seventy or eighty years. It will be hard. In fact, it will be more painful and confusing and distressing than you can now imagine. You will have a thorn in your flesh, a homosexual orientation that is the result of entering a world that sin and death has broken, and you may wrestle with it all your life. But I will be with you. I will be watching every step you take, guiding you by my Spirit, supplying you with grace sufficient for each day. And at the end of your journey, you will see My face again, and the joy we share then will be born out of the agonies you faithfully endured by the power I gave you. And no one will take that joy away - that solid resurrection joy, which, if you experienced it now, would crush you with it's weight - away from you."

Then his friend asks Wes,

"Wouldn't you say yes to such a journey if you had had such a conversation with God?"

As I read this, I began to weep. There was this deep mournful cry in my soul over how I had treated my heavenly Father as He walked with me all those years ago without my recognition of His presence and power.

And how would I answer the friend's question? 

I joked with a friend recently about being in line in heaven just prior to birth only to learn it was the gay line and saying, "I thought it was the glad line".

All joking aside, would I say yes? I think so.

Lord, I love you. Thanks Lord for even this. It is what it is. An atheist once said, "what does not kill you will make you stronger." I guess he inadvertently stumbled onto the truth. You are a wonderment to me. Your ways confuse me. They always have. Even so, I am looking forward to the joy. It's so close. I can almost feel it now. Thank You!          


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