Saturday, September 30, 2006

You Don't Wear My Chains

[Note: Scroll down to see Augustana's "Boston" lyrics and link to music video on YouTube.]

I don't usually pay much attention to those once in a blue moon disrespectful and uneducated negative comments from someone who barely reads a few random posts and decides he/she knows everything about me. I can handle disagreement or a difference in perspective but I'll usually only delete the hateful ones. Last week, some (Anonymous) terd decided to leave several similar ones in a few posts from months ago. Here's one that he left behind:

"There are people who have never heard of christ and they follow him alot better than you'll ever know how to (according to your writings). They will go to heaven one day. But people like you make sure that they won't everyday."

It's funny how some hateful people can't seem to say what they intend to say while leaving their name or showing their face. They'd rather say it in secret or in darkness or wearing some kind of a hood. All in the name of Christ, apparently.

It was the fear of these sorts of people that kept me in the closet - especially, in the Church. My assumption was that everyone thought that way and so I didn't dare allow anyone to know what was going on inside of me. No one knew how scared I was. No one knew how confused I was. No one knew how frustrated I was. No one knew how angry I was. No one knew how lonely I was.

There were times when I just wanted to run - far away where no one knew me. In 2001, I wanted to do just that. And that's one of the reasons why I came back to Long Beach. I wanted to get the hell out of Riverside, CA . . . .

I had lived there for 14 years. It is about 60 miles inland and I finished high school there. I tried my first round of university there. I had a couple full time jobs there. I was in ministry there.

By 2001, I made the biggest mistake of my life - literally - and I lived through the fall out of it all. I hit the figurative rock bottom and it was the most challenging chapter of my life. I moved away from Riverside and I was glad to go. I still have family that live there and so for the first two years after leaving, I'd always feel physically sick to my stomach every time I came back to visit. The memories and regrets and crashing waves that overtook me were overwhelming!

But the waves subsided.

Long Beach, CA is now my home. Perhaps I feel that it is because this is the place God restored me. This is the place he rebuilt what I thought was gone and lost. That which I thought I destroyed, He recreated and presented to me as new and different.

I was here before Riverside and now I'm back. It had been over a decade since I was last here and so there were few people still around that really knew me. In 2002, I had the opportunity of starting fresh. Now, four years later, I don't feel like I want to run or hide or start anything all over. I used to feel like I had nothing left to lose. Now, there's a reason for me to stay.

Augustana's "Boston" is one of my new favorite songs (even though the local radio plays it way too much) because I relate with the song. I understand the pain behind the lyrics. Long Beach is my Boston.

To the terd who left me those comments last week and thinks he knows all about me, just remember that you don't wear the chains I've had and that God removed from my wrists. And you've got no power to keep me bound.

"Boston" by Augustana

Click here to watch video.

In the light of the sun,
Is there anyone?
Oh it has begun...
Oh dear, you look so lost,
eyes are red
and tears are shed,
This world you must've crossed.
You said,

You don't know me,
And you don't even care, oh yeah,
She said,
You don't know me,
And you don't wear my chains, oh yeah.

Essential yet appealed,
Carry all your thoughts
Across an open field,
When flowers gaze at you,
They're not the only ones
Who cry when they see you
You said,

You don't know me,
And you don't even care, oh yeah,
She said,
You don't know me,
you don't wear my chains, oh yeah.

She said I think I'll go to Boston.
I think I'll start a new life.
I think I'll start it over, where no one knows my name.
I'll get out of California, I'm tired of the weather,
I think I'll get a lover and fly 'em out to Spain.
I think I'll go to Boston.
I think that I'm just tired.
I think I need a new town, to leave this all behind.
I think I need a sunrise, I'm tired of Sunset,
I hear it's nice in the summer, some snow would be nice, oh yeah.

You don't know me,
And you don't even care, oh yeah,

Boston, where no one knows my name,
Where no one knows my name
Where no one knows my name, yeah.

Boston, where no one knows my name.


Anonymous said...

Hi Buddy! I've never heard this song before, and now I love it. I'm sorry you have to put up with terds. You ARE loved and I know the pain you've had to deal with. Don't allow any terd to force you to relive it.

Eric said...

Hey Brian,

LOL, yeah awesome song huh? Thanks for the encouragement. Hey, funny thing, earlier this morning on my way to service I was thinking about you and was praying for ya. Hope you are well! Let's reconnect and touch bases . . . .

Unknown said...

Wish I could deal with terds, as you say, as well as you do. I caught some tough comments, and I just wanted to give up. Thanks for your encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great post! I really admire your courage in dealing with your personal challenges and detractors.

That song's pretty good. You might like this guy, especially his latest album. He's (very) gay and explores religious themes.

Anonymous said...

First of all... that anonymous person is a total coward. Not having the guts to leave his name and all. I respect people who don't necessarily mirror my faith and have a hard time accepting the whole gay-Christian thing. But people like this moron are angry and desparate losers.

I remember one time (not in band at a gay day event at Disneyland... some self righteous person yelled out to me... "Jesus still loves you" and I was so proud to find the courage to yell back... "Remember that when you get tempted to judge me".

And by the look on his face, I think he was taken back and realized that he wasn't being a good ambassador of Christ's love.

Anonymous said...


Unfortunately we live in a reactionary world that likes to look down on people. I sorry to hear you have to go through this again. You do have friends who love and care a about you that live close by. One thing I can understand because I’m middle aged is your past can come back to hunt you. However you don’t have to let it dominate your life.

I know well enough that this will pass and the wonderful man that you are will always shine through!


Unknown said...

Thanks for your comments over at my own blog. I appreciate you, very very much.

Anonymous said...

been looking everywhere for this song lyrics... thank you!! you were one of two sites found on google with the partial lyrics i had from the radio.

Anonymous said...

(((((Eric))))) I'm sorry that some anonymous jerk has the nerve to post such crap.

You know I think the world of you and am blessed to know you! :)

Anonymous said...

hey, i stumbled across your blog when i was searching in google. and i love the idea of your blog. good luck.

Anonymous said...

I was searching for the lyrics to Boston and I found your page. I praise God for the strength and courage He has granted you! May you be blessed and encouraged daily by our Lord Jesus Christ!

Anonymous said...

ok. i don't know you, and i don't know what you've been through, but there is nothing, nothing, nothing wrong with being gay. Don't feel that you need to change to be accepted, especially accepted by your God. Why believe and put so much trust in a God that doesn't love you for who you really are? Isn't he supposed to love all his children, why are you a bad person just because of your sexuality. It isn't fair that murders and child rapists can give confession and be accepted into heaven and into God's heart, but you can't because your gay.
You sound like such a wonderful person, and it hurts me to see that you are beating yourself up over God. Do not deny who you are.
peace and love.

Anonymous said...

Hi there buddy
Just like to say Balls to every one who hates on everyone else, you are human and thats all that counts, if anyone dosnt like you for who you are get them and turn them inside out make them an Arse-Hat/Clown-Shoe they are

peace osso

James said...

There is no reason for you to be ashamed of you are and those Christians who want to condemn you don't understand their own faith. But it is your responsibility to remain chaste because your sexuality contrasts with sacramental marriage as God intended it. Your vocation as a gay christian is to live and love responsibly and chastely. All the best. James Michaels

Anonymous said...

hello, this I'm sure will see quite random but I stumbled upon your blog while searching the lyrics for boston by augustana. I began reading and became entralled in your story. I know that it must be hard having such a conflict between your faith and your sexuality. Honestly the best way to deal with ignorant people that say hateful and hurtful things is to ignore them. We have all been ceated as equal regardless of our sexuality. I was raised Christian but I tend to avoid religion because my own beliefs on the subject are very different. I believe that all people no matter what religion, beliefs, or creed gain attain the afterlife. People that believe that you have to follow a certain faith just to make it to heaven I find to be ignorant and closed minded. I do hope that you do not let people keep you down or be ashamed of who you are. Live life on your terms, help others in need, and be a good person and you will go to heaven that is the key. I hope that this message inspires you to be who you are as I am! -Matt