There’s a common question that seems to boomerang around in the head of many blogger: Why am I doing this and does what I am doing in blogging matter to anybody else? Many of us have a site meter that we either make public or private, which allows us to track how many visitors have come to our site on any given day, what entries are getting the most "hits", and we can even get a not-always-accurate read on the location of the people visiting our site. It’s interesting, and surprising sometimes, to find that somebody halfway around the world has touched down for a short spell here. All I hope is that who ever you are, and wherever you are, you are getting something good from your visit to take with you as you go on into your day or night.
The purpose of this blog, as I’ve said before, is to share my journey with others… the many others out there… who may be in search of God, or at least trying to discover if there is something beyond themselves that isn’t a punishing force out to trip them up and smash their heads into the curb. I don’t profess to know God’s mind; there’s just no way to get a handle on something quite so vast. But what I’ve found is that once you start on a path to seek out God, God is going to reveal God’s self… and wisdom… in pieces large enough for the moment, but never too big to handle. A great example, I think, of this kind of process can be seen in the Daily Office reading from 2 Corinthians. Starting in on the Office, I was thinking about the struggles LGBT Episcopalians still face within the church. And then, there was this reading:
We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return—I speak as to children—open wide your hearts also. –2 Corinthians 6: 3-13
From what I understand of this particular book (and "understand" should be taken loosely), Paul is encountering trouble in Corinth and is up against a group of Jewish-Christians who are opposing him and his colleague, Timothy. This passage, therefore is likely to be addressing the charges being leveled against him by his opponents in Corinth back in the First Century.
However for me, in 21st Century USA, I read "We" as the LGBT people of our church. We have come so far, in many ways, and yet we remain in a kind of holding pattern which is euphemistically referred to as a period of "gracious restraint". We’ve been accused of being selfish, and putting our interests ahead of the good of the Anglican Communion. In all of the back-and-forth, I often wonder if anyone is still paying attention to God, since that’s why we have a church or an Anglican Communion in the first place!
Practically speaking, I’m not facing job discrimination because I am not a priest… let alone somebody eligible for the episcopate. My state now discriminates against the LGBT community in marriage in our constitution, so the fact that the Diocese of Florida won’t allow the blessing of same-sex marriages is not all that surprising.
But even though I’m not somebody directly in the line of fire, the continued insistence on the moratoria on blessings and bishops DOES hurt me. Because it is symbolic of my exclusion in "the world", and a reminder that I am an "other". People like me are not trying to put up obstacles in anyone’s way. On the contrary, we want to be participants to help clear obstacles so that MORE people will come to know God. And yet, we are treated as impostors, and unknowns, and as spreaders of a culture of death, when I can’t think of anything more liberating, joyful, and fulfilling than for a person to discover that they can tap into eternal life right now.
And that brings me back to where I began with the contemplative thinking on why I blog. If I can share my joy in discovering this ever-unfolding amazing love that is God, I believe I am aiding in removing obstacles from paths for other people. Possibly you, dear reader, whoever and wherever you are. Recognize that I’m a lesbian, but don’t let that be all that you see of what I’m saying. My sexual orientation does color my worldview, but it hasn’t blinded me. My heart is open, and I’m willing to share my journey with you.