Tuesday, March 27, 2012

a thank you that is too late

photo by wm. blake spencer

there are two
faithful and good men
i need to thank.

they won't hear my words
but you will...

though i suppose
there is a chance
they know my gratitude and love
if indeed we continue
to live in communion with the saints
who have gone before us.

so here goes:

thank you
Lynn Johnson.

thank you
Daniel Kruetzer.

Lynn and Daniel
served the
first presbyterian church
of conroe, texas.

they served as
associate pastor
but not at the same time.

they were beloved
ministers of the church. 

when the church experienced
a good deal of conflict for
a period of time and encoutered
ministers who did not serve so well....
these two men were the exception.

they were gentle, patient,
and they were gay.

i don't recall saying much about
thier sexuality when they were alive...
we didn't talk about such things
in conroe
and many still don't.

if we had known about
thier sexuality
we would have
pushed it under the rug
and pretended not to know.

in a way that is
exactly what we did.

and yet they lived and served.

what a shame we didn't
let them tell thier stories.
we are the poorer ones for that.

they served during a time
and in a place
where it was not
a possibility to speak
the secret we forced them to keep.

it was our choice
not thiers
that they remained silent.

and though
in some ways it may be too late
to redeem our failure
to love these two men without condition
in some ways
we still have the chance.

i suppose our chance
is acknowledging them for who they were.

i suppose our opportunity
is to reach out to others
who remain silenced
by the choices we continue to make.

on the back wall of the sanctuary
at the

first presbyterian church
in conroe, texas

there is a plaque listing
all the names of the pastors
who have served.

Lynn's name is there
and so is Dan's
though sadly
there was a mistake with
Dan's name.
Daniel Kruetzer is his name
though the bronze letters say otherwise!

they are listed with others
telling the history of the church.
my name is just below theirs
as a child of the church who entered the ministry.

three of us on that plaque are gay
in bronze
permanently affixed
to the back wall of the sanctuary.

i'm proud they were my ministers.
i'm sorry i don't have the chance
to talk to them now
as i pave my
way through this thing
called ministry. 

unlike these two beloved ones in my life
i have a multitude of folks
who have welcomed me
and are willing to listen to my whole story...
so i don't have to live in silence
like they did. 

thank you

thank you

your lives made a difference
your lives gave others courage
your lives mattered
more than you ever

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