Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Duck Says...

Old and Gay and Christian

I never thought I'd see 59 years old, but it's coming up here in the fall. That's like 117 in gay years in case you didn't know. In terms of the One True Faith though, I'm just barely out of the womb; a babe in the arms of Jesus; a place I find safer than any place I have ever been. I'm His little brother you know. He adopted me when I was 14. The weird thing is that He took me in with full knowledge of who I would be, the things I would do and the places I would go. He loves me like no other has loved me. I do not know why and I used to wonder, but no more. He is my Lord, my God and my brother all at once. I think I could die for Him and not regret it. He has deepened my shallowness and my resolve. He has taken my stubbornness and turned it into something useful and He uses my desire to draw me closer. I would be utterly without hope or solace without Him. He is mine and I am His. Just let someone try to separate us. Not gonna happen.

I was gay before I was Christian. Even though I grew up in the church, becoming a believer was not automatic for me. There has always been the specter of rebellion in my life. I have always been self willed; one that does not submit easily to the authority of others and most especially when I believe they are wrong. It has always been my MO to couch my rebellion in what I think is righteousness, albeit self righteousness. One spends much time alone when this is one's attitude. Normal people draw away from you and the unrighteous just want to slug you. It is a strange mix for a  Christian man that is also SSA.

I used to think how odd it was that I should have in me this sense of self righteousness and also this same sex attraction. Then there is my faith. Even after I learned about the utter sinfulness of both attitudes and desires, I continued in my belief that Jesus is the Messiah.

I was (am) a bundle of contradictions. What I realize now - as Paul said - is that all these things are working to God's glory and ultimately mine. Only the utter sinfulness of my desires could temper my self righteousness. Only my faith would have made me able to see that. Only through the these three things working together would I learn compassion for others who struggle in this life.

And I'm sure some of you are thinking, "how is this tempering him? He still seems to be a mean, compassionless and aloof old codger."

There is an element of truth here, but it all would have been much worse were it not for Jesus. He is changing me even now.

Sometimes in our efforts to be compassionate and empathetic, we become door mats. We want to help people. There are those that think we should help them too. Sometimes the best help that you can give people is help they are not looking for. I have a fairly new 'friend' whose life is a mess. He is especially challenged financially, but he also struggles with SSA and anger about being SSA and depression and ADHD and..and..and.

His car got repossessed last week. Strangely, even though he had been avoiding me, he felt the need to contact me and apprise me of his situation. I found myself sympathizing with his plight, but I knew that sending him money was not the answer to his issues. He needed to step up and man up to his situation and deal with it responsibly. I did ask him how I could help short of sending him cash. Seems that nothing else was going to cut it. He was not interested in deepening a potential friendship. He needed money to solve his immediate issue. My thought was, "how many times have you been in this place and done this very thing?"

I refused to be his enabler.

I was not very nice about it. Some might say I was unnecessarily self righteous about the whole thing. Even so, he needed some truth. At his age (60), he needs to be living differently. His life is what it is because, like Blanche Du Bois, he has always been dependent on the kindness of strangers. My advice to him, since his work hours had been cut, was to take on a part time job.

After a day and a half of emails and texts, he told me to piss off in a most graphic way.

OK. I'm good with that. I wonder how long it will be before he is in this situation again. He told me that a 'friend' had given him the money he needed. I can't help wondering what he had to do for it.

I want to be beholden to no one except Jesus Christ. I do not want to be anyone's burden but His. Is there anything wrong with this attitude? Should I have given this 'friend' what he needed? Or was it just me being self righteous? I am still of the opinion that the only way to stop a behavior is to stop it. I know all too well how hard this can be to accomplish. I feel his pain, but I also know his lack of resolve and the intensity of mine. I am sure I was right in this. What do you think?