I seem to be going through another one of those growth spurts in my faith journey. And I can feel it in my day-to-day living and relating to other people.
I’m challenged. I find myself really challenged to see the Christ in people who seem to see the Satan in me. My lesbian sexual orientation, for them, proves that I am possessed by a demon and that if I were really a Christian, I would not be a queer Christian.
In their world, God doesn’t like the taste of fruits.
These are the same people who would turn on their own children if their child were to reveal their orientation to them and beat them black and blue. This, apparently, is the “Christian” response to those whom you once loved, but now must hate because they are possessed.
As a PFLAG leader, I am challenged with how to reach out to the pockets in our community who see me as a fallen angel out to tempt their children into “that lifestyle.” Seeing me in their midst not proselytizing but standing with them may have some impact, but not enough for them to see the Christ in me.
As a Christian, I am then doubly-challenged to see the Christ in them, and to offer forgiveness for their trespass against me.
This is all part of what it is to remain in a relationship with God. This ability to feel the pain of rejection and anger and hatred, and yet not fall into that Hell hole of retaliating in kind. This is what seems to be the way of God, “The Way” that Christ left behind for his apostles to carry on. And since I believe that apostolic succession is not just for bishops, but is for all of us, then if I truly put on the mantle of Christ, I must be prepared for the arrows that will try to pierce that mantle. Holding my own with God’s help, and not back-sliding, seems to be the answer. I will wrestle with these things, but even if my hip joint is put out of place, I will survive.
This is a most complicated relationship.