I had to laugh this morning when I noticed that someone in Los Angeles stumbled upon my blog by entering the search string in Google: "hot steamy lesbians making passionate love." My site was #54. The fact that the person got that far, and came here, tells me they were pretty desperate! And probably left very disappointed. Somehow, a queer navigating a relationship with God probably isn't much of a turn on.
I've been thinking some about how our culture has some messed up ideas about sex. I think the church, or at least the teachings that have happened within the church, have contributed to the problems. Folks like to blame St. Augustine for having molded Christianity's anti-body stand. They also look at the letters of Paul and his condemnation of the flesh in favor of the spirit as more evidence that the Christian Church has made us all very sexually frustrated individuals. But my reading of the situation suggests that it isn't the fault of Paul or Augustine. It's the fault of those who have interpreted their writings and used them to advance an agenda of negativity against the body. It is the leftover gnosticism that challenged the earliest of Christian thought and the philosophy of black vs. white, good vs. bad, God vs. Demi-God that wormed its way into our psyches and has led us to this screwy place of dichotomous thinking about the body.
The body is not bad. The body is the house of our soul and the soul is given breath to light up the body and animate it. Our bodies are receptors that inform our souls of things that are good and bad. Our bodies let us know that something is pleasing and when something is painful. If something is pleasing and good we don't think about our body. We only think about our body when something in the body hurts. Just like the way we tend to turn to God only when we're in need or trouble of some kind, and we don't remember that God is also with us in our times of pleasure and happiness.
The way I see it, when St. Paul is talking about trying to break free from the flesh and pay attention to the spirit, what I see is the striving to stay tapped into the amazing and freeing love of God that one experiences sometimes in centering prayer. A place where in silence and simplicity of stillness, there is a feeling of no longer being confined to the physical limitations of the body. This is not a place I have reached often, but the couple times it has happened (once in centering prayer and once in a polarity session), it's knocked my socks off. It is a new way of understanding the phrase of being "in love" that defies my ability to really explain it.
In a way I believe that is what can happen when a couple who are meant to be together experience when they "make love". The combination of two souls meeting each other in two bodies which unite as one can take those souls on an ascending ride which defies words and intellect. Such an experience is true love... and God is there with them in that moment and allowing those souls to know what it means to be "in love".
This is not the stuff of sermons on a Sunday morning, but it is the stuff of the every day life of God's people as they enter into relationship with each other... be it same-gender loving or opposite-gender.
So while I am not about to offer up any "hot steamy lesbians" to the curious and sexually challenged net surfer, I am about reminding us not to scorn and bash the body. Instead, come to love the body as the receptor of God's love, both in the temporal and eternal sense of love.