Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Right to Speak

My brothers often like to joke about how I would implore at the dinner table that, “I have a right to speak!” Being the youngest, by a lot, I found it hard to get a word in edgewise, and my brothers found that humorous. When I did get my “right to speak”, my brothers would try to interrupt me, or sidetrack me down some rabbit trail, so I wouldn’t complete my thought. Aren’t older brothers fun?!

Here in the blogosphere, I have a right to speak. And the opinions I express are mine, and mine only, unless I offer attribution to other people far wiser, or at least folks who have a slightly different take than I do. If you read the profile description of me, you’ll see I have no theological training. And what I’m speaking about, for the most part, is this ongoing process of becoming reacquainted with God and what all that has meant to me coming from the perspective of being one of His creations who also happens to be queer. To read more on my journey toward acceptance of myself as a creation of God, and not some experiment gone awry, look under the entries under the “Faith Journey” label.

Who gives me the right to speak out here on matters of faith? No person, that’s for sure. Not the Episcopal Church. I’m doing this all on my own. And I hope that for someone (or more than one someone out there who posts replies to my essays) that this blog is sharing some insight into how the God I believe in…the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…is working in triple-time to get the Word out: there is no one denied eternal life who wants it. And this message is brought to you at this blog from one who is a most unlikely messenger!

Up until about six or seven months ago, I didn’t read the Bible, or the Book of Common Prayer, or contemplate the nature and workings of God in the world at all. Ever. In fact, if someone had told me that I would be writing a blog such as this one, I would have laughed in their face while calling in the men in the white coats to haul away the lunatic who would suggest such a thing. I wasn’t an atheist or agnostic. I still identified as Christian, but I kept it quiet, and wasn’t exactly practicing the rituals of my faith…save for at Christmas and Easter. I had a Bible and a BCP. But I figured with the prayer book that my years of serving as an acolyte had exposed me plenty to the language of "the red book" and there was nothing there for me.

What changed everything was the death of my father. His dying forced me to go back to church for not one, but two funeral services. And that would have been fine except for the hymns that started playing over and over in my head. Each song had a particular message and each time I tried to find ways to drown them out, the hymns only came faster and with more insistence. Then there was the Sunday morning when I was “summoned” with some kind of very strong voice in my head that told me I had to “show up” at church. I thought it was crazy. I thought I was crazy! But I went, and I am still going. And I’m increasingly fascinated with the passages that are read each week. And every Sunday it seems I come away with lots and lots to think about.

I’ll try to get some of my “thoughts” posted up here in the next few days. And just remember: these are my thoughts, my contemplations of scripture, my understanding of God which is limited by the borders of my brain, borders that are capable of expanding as I annex new places in my mind that had previously been happy to live in the dark. Stay tuned! And if anything I say here moves you positively or negatively, feel free to comment. You have a right to speak, too!


Earthmuffin said...

Yes, big brothers can be really great at silencing younger sisters. But in forgiving them we find our own voices. I'm glad you're finding yours. Don't worry about who may think you don't have authority to speak. If you are true to Spirit and Self, then your words will resonate.

Anonymous said...

I hope that your brothers read this one. This clarifies also the way you listen in church and take home the leaflets to go over them. I am so hopeful you will continue your education by attending the classes in the fall. God Bless, honey.


kriscard said...

Hi, Susan ... I find it fascinating that you and I - whose only concrete connection is a couple of years as reporters at FPR, and who must seem to be living quite different lives to outside onlookers - are experiencing such a similar spiritual journey: a religious upbringing, followed by a theological abandonment of sorts, followed by a reconnection with and redefinition of God. Thanks for sharing your incredible insight here - it makes me feel a renewed sense of connection with you, which is definitely a good thing!! As ever, I appreciate and admire your amazing self. xxoo, Kristen :)

SCG said...

Thanks all for your comments. It helps give me a renewed sense that even if I'm off my rocker, I still can speak from the floor! ;)