Thursday, October 13, 2005

God Loves Freaks Like Me

Sometimes I just feel so..... un-normal. It's a familiar feeling actually. I look around at the people around me and I just realize that I'm not like them. Maybe it's baggage - in fact, i know it's just my baggage because it's not like the people around me do anything to make me feel like this. It's just something inside me that senses a kind of distance. It's like feeling like I'm an alien. I don't belong here. I don't belong in this body. I don't belong.

Now, of course that's silly because I've been and felt more connected now with people than I have for most of my life. I have friends that I feel connected with. I have family that I feel connected with. I know I'm loved. I have acquaintances that I'm nurturing to be friends. I'm gradually becoming more comfortable with the reality that I'm gay - and even talking more openly about it (within safe circles). I like living in this city that I'm in. I think I have a good balance between my social life with friends and taking time to be by myself. I know the grace of God and I love Jesus personally.

So why do I feel like a freak sometimes? Some would say it's a demon bothering me. Some would say it's hormones. Some would say I need to get laid. Some would say it's because of my sin. Some would say, 'yes, you are a freak'. Do I need to have a reason for why I feel different? I don't know. I just do. But maybe God can speak to me even as I am now. Maybe that's it. God loves even freaks like me! (LOL - i'm actually having this silly conversation in my head.)

Sigh. So . . . .

How can I redeem this post? Um.... oh, how about this: I'm realizing today (more like right now) that this journey of mine includes accepting myself the way I am. Regardless of the conclusions I come to regarding sexuality and faith and how I ought to live my life (yadda yadda yadda), nothing removes the fact that, because of Christ, I am acceptable - to myself, to God, and more than likely to my loved ones (and hopefully to you). Perhaps that's a rock solid enough for me to stand on.

6 comments:

Tom Zimmer said...

Hi Eric,

There are a lot of interesting things to think about in this post. Perhaps the most obvious is that you feel insecure. Now I am not saying you are unusual in that, we all feel inscure, some of us allt he time, some of us part of the time, and some of us occasionally. It is also clear that you have a good intelectual understanding of the grace of God. That is good. God's grace does cover all sin, and it also covers every other aspect of who we are. I think the challenge for you, me and every other Christian out there is that we have trouble believing that we have a good heart and that we are fully justified in Christ, when we see ourselves both sinning, and being tempted to sin. There are a couple of points here. First, it is very important to understand that temptation is not sin. When you have feelings that desire to lead you into sin, that is not sin, that is satan trying to get you to sin. So right up front, deny the temptation. Now I am not saying that this is easy, I have my own issues to deal with, with respect to temptation, but the truth is we must deny the lie that we want the temptation, and then immediately look to Christ for the power to resist. As you no doubt know, you can't resist temptation on your own, that can only be done through Jesus' power. Second, we need to come to a full understanding both in our mind and in our heart that we are good. Having accepted Jesus as my saviour, my heart is good. REALLY! I know that temptation and sin make me want to think I am not good, but the war I fight, or more accurrately that Jesus fights for me is spiritual, and being fought by the only One who can and will win. Finally, I believe you need to stop thinking of yourself as a gay man. Now I am not syaing you are not gay, what I am saying is that you need to think of yourself as who you really are, a Christian who has a personal relationship with the one and only God of the universe. A God who made you the way you are, but who loves you too much to leave you or me the way we are. I praise God for a Saviour that not only cares for us but has the power to heal all our hurts, and who WILL!

JJ said...

Eric,

I think we are all freaks to some degree. The most normal person that you know probably has a freaky habit like collecting ceramic hippos or something. The idea of "normal" is a myth, in my mind.

And so, yes, you are loved and cherished and accepted by Christ... and also by me (although that is hardly as important!).

I have had a few people leave comments on my blog that I should stop identifying as gay too, and I don't really understand what they are thinking... unless they are thinking that being gay is sinful, and we shouldn't identify with sin... but I can't see how being anything can be sinful... and if they see it as something to be healed of, then how does denying that it is there help with the healing process? Or maybe it's because they think that we are seeing the gay part of us as the most central part, and that is not true at all. But then again, the fact that I'm black isn't central to my person, Christ is central... but that won't stop me (and shouldn't stop me) from calling myself black, of female, or short, or a Trekkie... or even gay. None of these things are central to who I am, my main identity is in Christ. But that doesn't make any of those things less true.

Of course, as always, this is just my opinion.

Steve said...

Eric...

Thanks for your honesty. I am proud of you (not that you need my validation) for your identity and boldness to declare your sexuality and christianity in such a public manner.

I am adding a link to your site from my site because we have had so many gay people come forward on our site and identify with what we are saying over there. Hope that is ok?

Don't worry about being a freak... but I did hear a little piece of advice the other day from a podcast message that I really liked. I do not have the actual quote.... but it is something like this...

Avoid letting others categorize you. Avoid the labels. People categorize you so that they can marginalize you.

It went something like that, but I re-wrote it somewhat from what I could recall. I don't like labels. I don't want to be known as gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian, conservative or liberal... because all of those labels limit me and define me to some degree.

That may sound like a utopian idea...

Thanks for your voice in this community. Talk to you soon.

Tom Zimmer said...

Ok guys,

I am not saying that Eric should in any way deny he is gay, i am simply saying that focusing on ones preference is like me focusing on being hetrosexual. It is true, but it should not an central characteristic of who I am. where as being a Christian, that is a follower of Christ, is a far more important characteristic of who I and eric are. Being a Christian is not just about being saved. Being a Christian is about turning your whole life over to Christ. Your WHOLE life, my WHOLE life. Focused on the one and only God of the universe. Everything else fades away in light of a relationship with Christ. Am I there? No. Is the world fading away? Yes, slowly, as Jesus shows me more each day that His plan is better than my plan.

*Christopher said...

Eric,

We all feel like freaks sometimes.

The more you let Christ transfigure you, the more you'll be yourself, the more all of your person will grow in His image. That includes your sexuality. While none of us should be defined by our sexuality, our sexuality is important. It's not just about sex, it's a locus of our affections both toward G-d and neighbor. It's how we bond in relationship, not just by sex but in friendships and such. Artists know this. Look at the Sistine Chapel. It simply startles with the erotic and sensuous in praise of G-d. Saints know this. Look at the statue of St. Theresa of Avila in ecstasy. Check out some of the Desert Elders on the passions and temptation. The key is to channel the passions in a godward direction, rather than repress or deny or even fight the demons. Fighting can actually strengthen rather than ressolve the matter. Sitting with the temptation can help as can finding moderation. Moderation as St. Augustine put it well can be harder than complete abstinence. But for most of us, moderation in a godward direction is our call.

Our passions are not in themselves evil or sinful, but wounded and prone to going our own way in dominating and controlling and so forth. As Thomas Aquinas put it, our sins are misdirected love. Our sins are our passions not first grounded in love of Christ and neighbor.

Angel said...

I'm with JJ (except on that ceramic hippo thing...you say that like it's a bad thing! LOL)

Many people feel like freaks, like we don't belong--myself included (I vote myself to be Secretary of Freakdom, or maybe Treasurer).

But seriously....I admire how much you center your thoughts on Christ, how even when you struggle or feel lost, you set your sights on Him. Thanks for sharing all this with us.