On Monday, a dear friend of mine called. They are a high profile Christian leader who hasn’t “come out” publicly yet (they will when the time is right for them and their family.) We talked for about an hour and many things will stick with me. It was a divinely timed phone conversation. The one thing I will share in this post is that they said (paraphrased),
We did what we did in the past because of our temperaments and wanting to do something big, something important, powerful and good for other people. Wrong beliefs infused what we did, but our motivation to help others was honest. That doesn’t go away now the we are being honest with ourselves as gay people and living in authenticity. We are wired to make a positive contribution to individuals and the greater good, and we will.
They are right. I was an ordained Pastor before “coming out” of the Church closet (not sure Grace Church recognizes that still though.) I sought ordination because I have believed since 1995 that I was meant to provide pastoral care and support to people. Through a series of powerful prayer times that lead to amazing dreams and symbols, some of which I shared with Dan a few weeks ago (interesting timing), I know that type of heart “calling” empowers my passions and motivations.
Yes, I and others imposed the ex-gay/conversion theology into all of that for too long. I hate that. But, that doesn’t negate the truth that who I am is who I am and a Pastor’s heart still beats within my chest.
Today, I embrace the truth that I am a minister who happens to be many things, including gay. I am simply looking to bring joy, light and help when the need presents itself. Yep, darn it, I am a bit crass and make no apology for loving Jesus and LGBTQ+ advocacy. I have no desire to be an asshole about my faith and “calling” but I don’t want to leave it in that old “closet” any longer either.
So here I am… big ol’ gay Christian minister who doesn’t know how to put on the glitter eye shadow he got in the mail this week…but will figure that and how this all fits, out!
Today, I am going to pull out this ordination certificate from underneath the clothes in my dresser drawer and put it on my desk. This will be a reminder of the journey and passion that brought me to it, and how that journey continues in a more honest and fully realized way.