“Reform your lives!” (Mark 1: 14-20)
So often we feel paralysed, seemingly incapable of “re-forming” things in our life or the life of our world.
I recently talked with a young gay man who works in a church and he spoke to me of the guilt he felt in representing a church who contributes to the pain of other gay people. He spoke sadly of the high suicide rate among gay and lesbian teens, largely because of the messages they receive from their churches about being bad, sick, disordered and an abomination. He is a music director in a church and loves inspiring people through music. He is also a man of faith. Yet he feels hypocritical for working for a religious institution that contributes to the death of young gay people through the messages they send out. I asked him to look for various ways, if even small, that he can send out a different message, even if it is one on one, ways in which he could be a leaven in the bread as it were. He’s not powerless to make a change.
Alone, we may not seem like we can do much to change things. But together, there is much that can change. I think of the motto of the Equal Rights Campaign – come out, come out – one person at a time. Little by little it adds up.
I also received an email from the publisher of “Epistle,” a web magazine for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender Christians. It is linked on my site here: epistle.us. He spoke of an email he received from a straight evangelical Christian who had been grappling with his church’s negative teachings about gay people. He found this site and it helped him realize that we are not aweful people, but human, Christian, struggling, . . . just like him. I realized in that email that what I write CAN make a difference in the lives of others and that is my desire. Nothing would make me feel better than to know that I had saved a life by what I write here.
Perhaps we can’t do everything to change things in our world, but each of us, no matter what our situation, can do some small thing to be an agent of change. Each of us can somehow be a part of the solution – no matter the problem that we’re seeking to change. And we need not be paralysed by ever thinking there’s nothing we can do.