Friday, July 27, 2012

love your neighbors as you love ___________.

 my picture. my foot.  my journey.

taking one step forward 
does not mean
all those steps leading up 
to the next one
have been forgotten.

in other words
where i am today 
has very much to do 
with where i have been.

two people said to me this week
you speak so passionately about coming out
what does that mean 
about the life you lived 
before coming out?

in other words
was GOD in those years before coming out?
was life a mistake before coming out? 

i've written so very many words 
to make clear...

GOD was with me
is with me 
and will continue to be with me.

i've written so very many words 
to make clear...

my life before coming out was not a mistake.
i married a woman 
i loved her.
i respected her.
i still do!
i always will!

i became a father.
i love my children.
i adore my children.
i still do!
i always will!

i've written so very many words 
to make clear...
my life has been good.

at the same time 
i've written so very many words
to make clear...

right under the goodness
there was fear...

fear that i hid from myself 
and from others

but fear 
none the less 
that caused me
to doubt myself
and at times 
despise myself.  

in the midst of goodness
this fear existed
and as fear does
it chokes....
specifically it choked me.

it did not choke the love i had
for my family
or my friends
or members of the church.

it choked the love
i was supposed to have 

choking fear
meant that i stood before those 
in the church who not only slandered 
LGBTQ children of GOD 
but abused them with their words
all the while threatening to leave 
the church (the denomination) 
if and when the church 
discovered and claimed the grace enough
to accept, affirm, and ordain 
LGBTQ children of GOD.

(the church is living into this grace and some who said they would leave, have...
and some have not....evidence that fear plays a role in their lives as well.) 

choking fear
meant that i stood there 
as all these words and threats were spoken
and did nothing
nothing for those being 
slandered and abused 
nothing for myself.

and then i 
discovered the lie.

it is not selfish
it is not wrong
to have love for yourself.

it's the other side of the commandment:
love others
as you love yourself.

i learned at an early age how to love others. 
fear did not allow me 
to love myself.

so yes,
i'm passionate
about the process of my coming out
for this is when i began 
to live more fully.

i love myself
which has only deepened 
my love for others. 

i love myself enough
not to stand 
silent before those who 
slander and abuse.

i love myself enough 
to say 
face to face...
"i am gay 
and you are talking about me."

i love myself enough
to help others 
learn how 
to love themselves.

i finally have 
faith enough 
to love myself. 

i pray you do 
as well.

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