I sit here tonight after going to what has to be the most amazing Ash Wednesday that I’ve ever been to. The minister told the story of how her grandmother explained to her why we do this whole Ash Wednesday thing:
Let the ashes enter your head and then the secret part of your heart.
She then told us to not focus on her but to focus on the cross.
Through this focusing I realized some things.
The cross and the wonders of the love that was poured forth for us, and just, for us to show the gift of Grace that God wants us to have.
I also realized how much I really understand what crucifixion is and the fact that even though Christ Jesus asked us to be crucified with Him how hard it is. How much it hurts and how much it harms and heals.
It harms the “balance” that we know; the equilibrium of our lives is challenged — the norm that we understand and live in day in day out.
I know that I am to be crucified with Christ. But, damn it, this is hard and too much to ask. And it would be this if not for one thing.
We rise again.
Even as we have been oppressed — Jesus was oppressed.
Even as we have been beaten — Jesus was beaten.
Even as we have been hated — Jesus was hated.
But all of this would have no meaning. No purpose. No long lasting effect if it was not for one thing.
Rising from an impossible place. Rising above the pain and hurt to see the love and the grace that was there below the surface just as life appeared to be before Christ’s rising from the grave.
We as LGBTQ+ persons understand what a tomb is, as we have all come from one of closet proportions. And often we resent it. We want to bust through and out to be a light and a witness and, well, just be.
And that it is hard.
For there is fear.
For there is oppression.
For there is death; not just physical.
Death of ideas.
Death of fallacies.
Death of fear.
Death of self-loathing.
Death of self in Jesus.
Oh, Jennifer? You are looking for her? Why do you look here in the closet-tomb for the living? She is not here. She has gone out into the world to proclaim Christ’s word until He comes again.
Jeffery William Hunter Felix wrote for Whosoever while attending the University of North Texas and planning to enter seminary.