Tag Archives: Homosexuality

Supernova

Like a dying star
Convulsing – trying to hold on
The heat – intense as gravity folds in on itself and energy ceases
Unable to escape the intensity – I collapse inward and finally explode

Will I fall into the inescapable darkness?

Or find myself thrust outward in a burst of creative energy
Forced and forged by this seeming death
Exploding into newness – Supernova my name?

Elements strong and bright
Silver and gold are forged in this heat
Gravity’s intense pressure – beauty’s unlikely birthplace


Setting The Table

Visions of days past loom like distant memories
When I would gather them

Songs of passion, dreams of a different shore – a way for us to be – that seemed within reach

A heart that beat with affect and hope, open and seeking – dashed – yet like the phoenix,
Rising from the ashes
Flying again into your heart.

The gravity of ashes now speak: “lay here”
Rebirth – a distant belief
Voices of sunrise silenced
Visions of setting the last table become the heart’s
company

Visions. Songs. Dreams. Heart.
Has the Song found it’s end? Is the table to be
set?

The Vision still has its time. Here . . . A spark.


Learning to Fly

Last night I was reading the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Shack:  Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by Wm. Paul Young.  The jury is still out on what I think of the novel, but I find parts of it intriguing so far.  If you read it, I recommend getting through the first third of the book.  After that it begins to get intriguing and plays with questions of images of God, religious assumptions, suffering, relationships and new life.

One line from the book struck me.  As the main character and God are conversing about various things, God says:  “This isn’t Sunday School.  This is a flying lesson” (p.98).  What an image!  What if we could view all religion, all spirituality, all relationships from the point of view of this metaphor?  They’re all about flying!  They’re all about being lifted up beyond the pain that sometimes befalls us in life and learning to fly again.  Our relationship with God is NOT about following this or that rule it’s about learning to fly!  It’s about learning to live well!  Of course, any pilot will tell you that there are things you have to learn and do if you are to fly.  But that is not about rigid adherence to rules.  It’s about learning to live well, making good choices so that I feel as if I take flight.  It is about calling on the power of God within and trusting it, trusting that it is with us and will carry us through anything.  Now, we’re not going to “feel” it all the time, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t there.

Some of my friends know that I have gone through a bit of a difficult time the past couple of years.  I have struggled much.  A few weeks ago, I sat down and tried to meditate, having “felt” no connection with God, or others for that matter, in quite a while.  I felt that this was such a waste of time.  I didn’t feel any better.  But I kept going back to meditation anyway, if even sporadically.  One day, wondering about the pain and difficulty of the past couple of years, wondering why I was even doing this and if there was any Power out there to help, I softly heard these words:  “It was then that I carried you.”  I look back now . . . and indeed I see only one set of footprints in the sand.  Indeed, I was still flying, still being lifted up, even though I didn’t feel it.

What strikes me is this:  if I had not meditated, if even sporadically, I never would have heard those gentle words, which were the catalyst which is giving me some thrust, some wind, as it were, as I slowly stretch out my wings again and learn to fly.

In the book, God says to the main character who has been deeply wounded:  “Mack, pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly. . . .And if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place” (p.97).

I pray that we all know that we were created to fly; that we have the courage to slowly spread our wings again.  And even when life is difficult may we know that “it was then that I carried you.”


The Price of Speaking Up

Jeremiah 20: 7-9
Matthew 16: 21-27

Sometimes the truth is a real pain in the ass!

Were you ever in a situation, perhaps in your church, job or in a political situation, or perhaps in your own family, where people were talking about something with which you passionately disagreed?  Or perhaps it was a friend of yours or your own partner who was doing something that was hurting him/herself or others.  You knew in your heart that you needed to say something, but were afraid of what the reaction would be.  Your heart began to pound as you gathered the courage to speak up.  And then you finally did.  Chances are, there were some people that did not like what you said.

The reality is, sometimes people are not going to like us if we speak up.  We see in the readings from Jeremiah and Matthew how Jeremiah and Jesus are hated for what they say.  I’m sure both were tempted to just put up and shut up.  Life would have probably been more peaceful, more tidey.  Yet somehow, when we don’t speak up, something inside of us dies.  A Word inside of us dies and a person or persons who might otherwise be lifted up to a new way of thinking and being, go on their way living half a life.

It’s important to remember that when prophets speak they don’t speak in anger.  They don’t just throw around negative energy.  They speak out of a place of love and concern.

Am I willing to let go my ego’s desire to be liked, in order that someone might hear a word of challenge that may help them?  Do I have the courage to speak the truth in love?


In the Divine Image

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”
See Jeremiah 1

For years people told me that I was NOT formed in the womb as I was, but that I was sinful, flawed, intrinsically disordered and in need of healing.  I was told that the very essence of who I was, was flawed.  Of course, there are still many voices today that  shout those messages.  They contend that I have chosen this, that I am deviant.

It took a long time for me to come to the realization that I was created by God, AS I WAS, and that “God saw that it was good!”  This short line from Jeremiah was very helpful to me in my time of struggle.  How wonderful and what a relief it was to know in my heart that “before God formed me in the womb, God knew me!”  What a relief it was to know in my bone marrow that I was not this awful human being, but made in the Divine image!

Isn’t it interesting that many religions have turned being gay into a sin and a source of great shame.  Yet some other cultures at times in history held gay people in high esteem.  They were honored as shamans, healers and priests because, instead of somehow being flawed, they were thought to have within them the unity of male and female and so reflected more fully the Divine image!  Even today, many gay people instinctively choose professions of healing, ministry and art.

No matter who you are, whether gay or straight, do you see the Divine image in you?  Are you able to see yourself as a wonderful creation?  Yes, we all have our character defects.  But can you see the good in you, that you are made in the Divine image and that God is pleased with the work of His/Her hands?


Lifting Up Gay Spirits

Matthew 11: 25-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.”

I will never forget the absolute relief that I felt the day I realized in my heart and in my bone marrow that I was created and loved by God as I was! That moment, sitting in a small chapel in St. Louis, praying Psalm 139 in the darkness, will be forever etched on my memory. “It was you who knit me together in my mother’s womb. . . . I thank you for the wonder of my being.”

I didn’t even realize how heavy the burden was. I didn’t realize the weight of fear that I carried on my back, having taken in messages that I was sick, sinful, an abomination and the like since childhood. What a horrible thing to do to a child! And that is what we all are, children. My burden was indeed heavy. And it saddens me that the same messages are still out there and that there continues to be many gay people walking around burdened, fearful and in terror of going to hell!

If you are one such person, know that you are not alone and that you are loved by God as you are. Look around. There are many people like you that are gay, happy and faith filled people. You CAN be gay AND have God in your life! After all, you are in God’s image. You are God’s Word spoken in time, as you are, with a mission. You are “fearfully, wonderfully made!”(Psalm 139)

I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful spiritual director when I was coming out, who walked me through a process that lead me to that day in the chapel in St. Louis. Many don’t have that good fortune. And if there’s any passion that I have in this life, it is to be a help in the same way to gay people that struggle today. If you are one such person I hope that you find my blog, as well as other resources that are available, a help in lifting the burden of fear from your shoulders and gift that gives you a new lease on life.

Whoever you are, gay or straight, we all carry heavy burdens in life at times. A Power Greater Than Ourselves CAN lift those burdens. And that Power works in many different ways. The Power works through the internet crossing boundaries of language and country to bring people together. That Power works through the silence, whispering a word of hope to our hearts. And that Power works through flesh and blood, through the comfort of a human being that can help lift our burdens and free us from our fear.

I pray that all those who visit this site – whoever you are and whatever your state in life – find here a word that lifts your hearts and helps you to know . . . you are not alone.


“I’m Not Religious!”

I meet many gay people who identify themselves as not being religious. When I mention that I’m into “spirituality,” I sometimes get these skeptical looks, especially if they don’t know me personally. I recently was talking with a guy online who, after finding out that spirituality is an important part of my life, said to me that he isn’t religious. One of the questions I asked him was, “How do you think your friends would describe you?” He went on to say that he thinks they would describe him as a giver, one who looks out for others, one who goes out of his way to make sure life goes well for others, one who enjoys taking care of others. . . . Sounds like the guy knows what Love is about! I went on to tell him that the bottom line of living any “spirituality” or “religion” is about self giving love – not about religious observance. Any spiritual or religious observance is meant to form us into being loving, compassionate, self-giving people. Unfortunately, what happens sometimes is that the “observance” becomes the main focus, over and above loving action toward others.

“Be on your guard against performing religious acts for people to see. . . . When you give alms, don’t go blowing your horn about it! . . . When you pray, do it in secret . . .” Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18

I think the guy I talked to the other day who said “I’m not religious” knows what it means to live a truly “religious,” “spiritual” life.

Is my spiritual practice forming me into a more loving, self giving person? Or is it just for show?


“Diversity” . . . Really???

“Diversity?”. . . Really??

“If you love only those who love you, what merit is there in that? . . . If you greet your brothers and sisters only, what is so praiseworthy about that?” (See Matthew 5: 43-48)

I sometimes pride myself on being open to “diversity,” an oft used word today. Certainly as a gay man, I pride myself in being open to a variety of people and am big on acceptance! But if the truth be known, sometimes I live in the narrow parameters of my own ghetto, my own group. I am sad to say that sometimes I avoid those who disagree with me and I judge them in my heart. For example, I avoid close minded, right wing fundamentalist types. But if I cannot be open to these people, “what merit is there in that?” If I greet only my own, am I truly open to diversity?

Also, when it comes to the world stage, if I am only reading and watching things which agree with my world view, what merit is there in that? Should I not also listen to and read about what the opposing camp is saying? Perhaps the key is in the word “listen.” All too often, opposing camps simply express their own thoughts and opinions without listening to what the other side has to say. I am just as guilty as anyone else about that. So I have to ask myself today, how truly open to “diversity” am I?


Contemplative Do Nothings

Last night I read the end of Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose. I am often amazed at the synchronicity of events. So often I hear something or pick up this or that book exactly at the time that I need to. Perhaps that is a part of being awake and aware. When we are awake, conscious in our living, we are able to pick up on Life’s messages.

I last wrote of feeling a sense of creative depression and the fact that I have often felt guilty as I seem to require significant spaces of quiet in my life. As such, I have never quite squared up with those who are constantly about this or that task and who accomplish much in their lives. As I was reading the end of Tolle’s book, he described people like me and I was reminded again of the value of Contemplative Do Nothings. He calls us “The Frequency Holders,” and contends that in the new earth – the conscious earth – we are invaluable. Our contribution in our contemplative nothingness is to bring consciousness to the world.

Contemplative Do Nothings are of inestimable value to the world, in that they are like the keepers of the flame – those who imbue the world with meaning and depth. We are the like the Lynx, that wonderful medium sized cat who symbolizes the link between this world and the next. Perhaps we Contemplative Do Nothings are those who point to the Eternal in the midst of the Finite, those who point to Limitless Infinity in the midst of the seemingly limited world of form. And what a gift this is to bring to life! We are those who give birth to art and music in the world. In themselves, art and music seem of no constructive value, no productive purpose. But imagine a world without art and music and we quickly realize their inestimable value to our daily lives! How poor and lifeless our world would be without them! And indeed, how very poor and lifeless our world would be without “The Frequency Holders,” the Contemplative Do Nothings!

 


Making Dreams Reality

As I write this it is the 40th anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s assassination. His time and ours are remarkably similar. One thing he said which strikes home to me is this: “I dream dreams that never were and say, . . . ‘Why not?’”

Dreamers can be frustrated when others say “why?” But dreamers keep dreaming and working to make the dream a reality. Who would have thought back in Robert’s day, when the struggle for civil rights was just emerging, that 40 years later – almost to the day of Robert’s assassination – an African American would take the Democratic nomination for President of the United States? I’m sure the people who spoke eloquently, who wrote, who inspired multitudes in those days; the people who fought and died, who were beaten and arrested and held down – I’m sure they never imagined that this day would come. But a dream was dreamed and one day somebody said: “Why not?” And things changed.

I have a dream when gay people can be looked upon as equal in God’s sight and when our love can be celebrated as sacred as anyone else’s. I have a dream of the world coming together in peace and when people no longer see themselves as citizens of this or that country, but citizens of the earth. I have a dream when people no longer say “God bless America,” but “God bless the World!” It strikes me that there are many players in making a dream reality. We need the people out front. We need the speakers. We need the writers. And we need those people who work to change perceptions just one person at a time. And it frightens me to admit that we need great courage, the courage to be yelled at, beaten, killed and arrested. I am not sure I have such courage.

No matter who we are, we all have dreams. What is your dream? What is the vision that you have for yourself, for others and the world? Do you think it’s crazy? Do others? Instead of just dreaming, perhaps we should say “Why not?” And then take a step to making the vision a reality!