Monday, June 15, 2009

Why this Struggle?

I am reflective.
I am sad.
I am wondering,

"Why, God? Why this struggle?"

My thoughts come from both my own life and reading about the lives of other "others" in their blogs. Those of us who fall into that "other" category must always answer questions about our "otherness". It's like we're the witnesses on the stand who never get to step down because there is always another attorney, ready to step in and start a new line of questioning.

Having spent the past two weeks working with LA-based performance artist Tim Miller, I find myself gifted with some ways to do what comes naturally to anyone in massage therapy: work through the body. My body... our bodies... contain stories that once put into motion can unleash powerful and creative energy. For me, it was the beginnings of finding a voice for expressing my experience of God in a very real way in my life at a moment when I needed help. My dad, sick and in pain, was trying to tell me something, but his illness and stroke made it impossible for me to understand him. I cried out, literally tears welling up in my eyes, for God to please help me.

And that's when I realized that I needed my dad to breathe out his words, into my ear.

"I. Want. Outta. Here." It was clearest statement he'd made in weeks.

"Outta here as in this place? Or outta here as in the whole shebang?" I asked. He breathed again, and I listened.

"Whole. She-BANG!"

This statement made possible by the Holy Spirit. I am convinced of that. God heard my cry, and God did what God does so well: answered it.

And there was no questioning of me. No testing of me. No looking askance at me and wondering where this crew cut "unchurched" dyke gets off calling on the Almighty for assistance. This is how I know, in a real and present sense, that I am part of the kingdom of God.

But back here, in the world, there are those who call that inclusion into question. That's what I get from all of the nonsense about Theological Commission's and their secret panels, and Justice Departments and their homophobic legal briefs, and anonymous cowardly queer-bashing commentary on the newspaper's internet site. My life is always, as Miller notes, on trial, on the ballot, and on the menu.

Within the church, I wonder what it would be like to take people through an exercise of performance art in which they examine what it means to be part of a body: the Body of Christ. Go inside their own bodies, examine what's there... the good and the bad (which are labels we put on those things in ourselves)... and then let go of the notion of good and bad, and simply visualize the heart, the liver, the feet, the head. And connect those places and see how they support each other. And then take this map of our own body and realize that this IS a body of Christ. Give it some breath, and visualize the even bigger spaces beyond our own bodies... and understand that when we are connected through Christ, we make up the Church with Jesus Christ as its foundation... its feet, and God as its head. And all the "others" who are there in this body occupy any number of spaces. We are NOT simply the appendix that needs removing!

I wonder.
I contemplate.
I open my heart.

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.--Psalm 80

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, and I hope others think so too.