Why is it that we as gay and lesbian Christians continue to hope beyond hope? I believe this is the basis of faith. “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” [Hebrews 11:1] We cannot see the end of bigotry and homophobia, but we have the hope that one day the spirit of truth will permeate this world and we will live in harmony. We cannot give up the hope that Christ stands up for the oppressed and the persecuted. If we do, we lose sight of the purpose of his manifestation.
We as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians strive to answer the call to love and worship the eternal and supernatural Creator of the universe, we must hold onto the hope that there is something better than this world. There is a place where right-wing “Christians” and fundamentalist radicals are drowned out by the unending love and TRUTH of the Most High. We hold onto the hope that our faithfulness and desire to worship honestly will not go unnoticed by our intercessor, Jesus Christ.
When we have earthly families that abandon us, we have the hope that the immeasurable family of God has one more place at that table prepared for us in the presence of our enemies. When I hear that I need to be “cured” from my “abnormal” and “perverted” ways, I have hope in the knowledge that God “created every part of me; [God] put me together in my mother’s womb…when my bones were being formed, carefully put together…when I was growing there in secret. [God] knew that I was there-[God] knew me before I was born.” (Psalm 139:13-16a.) This is my hope then, that God knew everything about my life before any earthly person knew of my existence! God knew I would be gay even before I did. God knew that my soul could not survive without worshipping Him. My hope rests in the fact that God creates no “queer” thing and that the love and grace promised to me through His Son can never be removed from me. My life is not subject to those who claim to know the mind of God. My life is subject to grace.
Christ is my hope that the promises of the scriptures are meant for all, and that His grace is sufficient to cover the multitude of sins that we are all guilty of. Hope is what sustains our community when ignorant people propagate the notion that those who suffer hate crimes, like Matthew Shepard, deserve what they get because they refuse to live a lie. We continue to hope that one day we will be able to live together… black, white, gay, celibate, vegetarian, whatever we are! And when we grow tired of dealing with the mean-spirited and hate-filled, we have the promise that “those who hope in the Lord will gain new strength. They will soar like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.” [Isaiah 40:31] And although hope is sometimes seen as a passive, non-active or weak part of faith, it is exactly that hope that exists in our hearts as those silent prayers heard only by God. We should not forget that God’s love is made perfect in our weakness.
After we are done marching, protesting, or holding vigil, we return to hope. When the world lets us down (as it inevitably does) we return to the hope that there is One who is a witness to our struggles, and will one day count them as righteousness. We as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians must never give up hope. Sometimes it is all we have!