Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Foot In Two Worlds

I was sitting on a park bench with some friends today. It was the day of the church's community family fair and it had just finished. Earlier that day, we all had been helping out and meeting new people. We just finished cleaning up when we were there at the bench. We all laughed together. We encouraged each other. We honored the Lord together. It was good to feel connected.

I'm still getting used to being around a group of people that all know I'm gay. I'm feeling much more free to just be who I am. In the mainstream church context, there's always something I'm holding back. However, with these friends at this new church, I've got nothing to hide because they already accept me.

I will admit, though, that a part of me is still concerned about the mainstream church. My public ministry involves me interacting with many mainstream churches in the city. Today, I was filling balloons with helium and giving them to families walking by. I could tell that while many of them were gay or lesbian families, others were also heterosexual families that just came by to check out the fair. It was a very positive atmosphere. I wondered if possibly some of these people may recognize me from one of my public ministry's activities. This is relevant because regardless of how free I personally feel in this context - out 'there' on the fringes, the reality is that my association with 'the gay community' does and will effect my public ministry as a whole - either positively or negatively.

For many of you who have been keeping up with this blog over the past several weeks (thank you by the way!), you know that my struggle is not about me trying to figure out whether i'm 'gay' or not. That's never been a doubt. However, one of the issues that I contend with is how i'm supposed to live this out - both personally and in ministry. The mainstream church is hostile to the 'gay' church. But that's where my public ministry is - in the mainstream. I'm starting to really like this 'gay' church, but what would it look like for me to serve there?

I guess right now I'm looking for a bit of clarity and direction for personal ministry. I'm not talking about leadership, but rather i'm talking about simply serving the Lord. Maybe this is premature. I haven't exactly come to any concrete conclusions for this journey of mine because i'm not finished examining what i set out to examine. But from what i've seen so far, I cannot deny that these people in this particular 'gay' church are indeed my brothers and sisters in Christ. The dilemma is that the mainstream church doesn't.

I feel like i have a foot in two worlds. I'm really hoping that God is not going to use me as a bridge builder between the two because I'm not sure I'm ready to handle that kind of hostility yet.

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