So, one of the “issues” I have struggled with in my life is the ability to “speak my truth”. What that means is to have the courage to say what is in my heart, my mind and my spirit. I think it is a difficulty for most people, but since I’m only me and not most people, I can only speak about my truth (how’s that for reasoning!)
This week, I have felt challenged by the decision of the Archbishop of Canterbury to offer the Bishop of New Hampshire a place next to tables of bottled holy water for sale, rather than a chance to sit at the table with other bishops of the world to discuss matters of faith. The denial comes because the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson is an openly-gay man. And, unless you have been able to tune out the news since 2003, his consecration as a bishop is “tearing at the fabric” of the “Anglican Communion”. As I’ve already said, I find this to be an insane belief, but there are those who are clinging to it for dear life. So be it.
To work out my anger, I have done the one thing that challenges me more than anything: I have been speaking my truth. More like, writing my truth, both here on my own blog and in emails to others. Here is what I said in response to an article at the Episcopal Church's website about the Episcopal House of Bishops statement in re: Canterbury’s non-offer to Gene Robinson:
"Thank you for this statement. I can't begin to articulate all the sadness I'm feeling about the actions of the ABC in re: Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson. It is so wrong that those in Canterbury can only see the sexual orientation of a bishop and not the spirit of God that dwells within him. I pray that one day that will change. And I continue to hold Bishop Robinson in my thoughts. He is the shepherd of the people of my native New Hampshire...both gay and straight! I pray, too, for God to grant all of you who are church leaders the strength and courage to *love* and serve God. That will mean that you must go to Lambeth on behalf of *all* of us in the church because we are *all* God's children. Jesus did not die for *some*; he died for all. In the past, such actions as that of the ABC would have driven me away from my Episcopal heritage. But not this time! I will pray for all of you, and will continue to seek God's loving presence in a world that doesn't always want to love me and "my kind" back."
My “truth” has now become part of the news at Episcopal Life Online. Nice to have the validation of my thoughts, but my true hope is that what I am saying will sink in with the people who matter. In the words of one of the incessant “Hymns in my Head”:
God is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year
God is working his purpose out and the time is drawing near
Nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be;
When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God and the waters cover the sea!
As one of the great musical philosophers, Bob Marley, sang: “Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rights!” The Episcopal Church must come to the realization that full inclusion is the right thing. Whether the ECUSA will do that is in the hands of time. But I believe that time is drawing nearer and nearer.
And that is my truth.