Friday, September 30, 2005

No Longer A Fly On The Wall

I remember going to church and feeling so alone. There were times when I'd look around and watch people interact and it would almost feel like I wasn't even part of my own body - as if i was looking out through the windows of my eyes but never really being a part of the "outside" world. Sure I was "in" my body, but it was kind of like being invisible or even like being a fly on the wall - unnoticed. It was frustrating watching but never being able to take part. I watched couples - guys and girls holding hands, laughing, hugging, interacting.

It was somewhat paralyzing. Fear does that, I suppose. Fear of people knowing the darkest secret in my being. While Christians proclaim how important forgiveness is, I was so confident that it would never be offered if they really knew what was going on in this head of mine. How could I possibly be accepted by "my friends" if they knew I was one of "them". Gay.

But I'm a Christian. And I have been given freedom. The person I am is defined by who Christ says I am. A child of God - a son. Here it is, the ultimate acceptance from Him who tells me, "I died for you." And so I'm learning that I no longer need to "feel" paralyzed because there are no restraints. I do believe that I am not free to sin, for I belong to Him - bought at a price - however, I am free to be the man that I am. I am growing, changing, transforming to be more like Him. I'm not inclined to think that my sexuality was meant to be transformed but I do believe that the character of my life is. Regardless of what those who oppose my sexuality think, I bear the fruit of the Spirit. We may disagree about how Scripture is interpreted regarding sexuality, but the presence of God in my life cannot be denied. I am Christian. I am gay.

Of course, i've discovered that I was wrong about my assumptions about some of my friends. They can accept me. We were friends before they knew I was gay. Them knowing now doesn't change the fact that I was still gay before, despite them being ignorant of the fact. And now, they do know me - more fully than they did before. There are no deep dark secrets that can stand between us. And I can finally move forward. However, there is wisdom in discerning who I share this knowledge with. There are those who are neither safe nor trustworthy with knowing that I'm gay. I used to feel alone in the Church because of these kinds of people.

Now, because of God's grace, I am living my life as the Church with others and in community. This sense of freedom of being able to live and be the man that I am has allowed me the confidence to connect and interact with people like I never did before. I am no longer a fly on the wall. I am a part of my environment. Much more, I am affecting it. And this, I'm finding, is incredibly refreshing!

2 comments:

Mark said...

Yeah -- I can identify with that. Something most everybody else takes for granted and we have to work through it. Glad you're finding that your friends are sticking with you on your journey. People *are* human, though, and there's bound to be the occasional situation where the person simply can resolve the seeming dichotomy. May you experience grace and comfort in those situations.

Mark

matt said...

Please allow me a moment to re-catch my breath, and possibly to dab my eyes with a tissue.

I remember that hollow feeling as I sat in the church building. (Dare I admit I felt it even yesterday.) I often still don't know that I can escape the condemnation, but I can tell you I have been rescued from the paralysis I once felt.

Somehow, by the grace of the Lord, I'm going to move again. I will not always be this broken knocked-down tear-stained guy. I'm going to stir; I'm going to stand up; I'm going to walk; I'm going to laugh; I'm going to run free; I'm going to help others do exactly what I dream of; I'm going to do all this soon.