It seems to me that on our spiritual pilgrimage in this world we will always be going through some kind of spiritual crisis, whether dramatic or in a simple everyday occurrence. Each step of the way questions the depth of our heart and asks the most fundamental question: Do we love God, if so, then we love our neighbour. It is a Gospel calling of Love, which asks us to Love others just as Jesus loves me.
Jesus is always with us. The crisis comes when we have moved so far in our hearts from Him that we allow so many others things to get in the way. It is also very hard to love when a gay person is told that (s)he is an abomination and that our hearts and souls are an affront to God.
One of the most difficult spiritual crisis that I have encountered is being asked from the cross would I follow Him. My answer was yes. But how could I when I didn’t know who I really was? I had a very glamorous job with all the trimmings too! It took about nine months of ‘being in the desert’, others call it the Dark Night of the Soul, to get there. Like a piece of furniture with too much varnish, each layer was peeled away until the real wood, the real me, came to light.
During this process my whole world collapsed around me. I left my job on board cruise liners to sweep and clean platforms and lavatories at underground stations. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but when you have been used to a bit of glamour then it came as a bit of a cultural shock to my system. Added to this, I found that my bank account had been rifled. This was then quickly followed by being thrown out of my home. There were of course the ‘looks’ from so called friends.
And each night I cried before I went to bed. Each morning I cried before I went to work.
Despite all this I knew there was someone keeping my head above water. A love that is far greater than any of this.
On reflection this is exactly what I needed to happen. I cannot tell you how far I had allowed myself to be away from God. I had been swayed by others who told me what I should be doing, rather than what I felt deep down in my heart, what the Spirit was calling me to do. I had almost accepted that I wasn’t loved by God when this was affirmed by ‘certain’ members of the church.
However, when the real Hayden became visible. The one free from status and put-downs from others. There emerged someone who could totally accept being gay, and in that acceptance, could stand before the Lord in prayer and say “Here I am Lord, just as I am.”
The out-flowing of His Love cannot be described. Nothing on Earth can be compared to it. The Love that is there for all.
In following Him there has since been other steps (some quite extraordinary) that I have taken but they are another story.
I now have, despite being dyslexic, a degree (with Hon’s) and currently taking an MA.
But more than this I have discovered that I am called to the Healing Ministry of Prayer. Through His Grace there has been such wonderful healing, beyond description. It also transpires that I may also have a calling to become a priest.
All through my experiences Jesus kept to His promise of “I am with you always”. Granted my experiences were perhaps unusual but they point in one direction and that is to Him. It was through Him that I discovered who I really was and where I am best needed.
So to the One who Loves us all I say “Thank you.”