… I realized with time that I was gay and cried out to my God and to the church and pastor (my father-in-law). Because of the teachings I was raised with I felt I needed “deliverance” from homosexuality. They in turn threw me out of home and church with no place to turn. My family, “christians” also, cut me off. I slept under a bridge, in a homeless shelter and eventually spent two months in a psych ward… all trying to come to terms with my faith and my sexuality. I eventually abandoned my faith as I felt there was no longer a place by my Father’s side for me.
Your story reminds me deeply of the journeys of Abraham, Moses, David and Jonathan, Ruth and even Jesus. All of these folks tried to tell the truth and follow the way of God. Yet, people would not let them, they cursed them, made fun of them, abandoned them and even killed them. The important thing here is they knew the truth of God and did not leave God. You are correct in saying and knowing that God has a place for you and is calling you this moment. It is those who have rejected God’s creation that need to feel alone.
I remember when I was in MCC there was outstanding preacher who told a story about a lamb that like to eat purple grass instead of green grass. All the other sheep made fun of the lamb and told the lamb that the good shepherd would not love the little lamb if it kept doing what it was doing. It got so bad that the little lamb would go off all by itself in search of purple grass. Of course you know it was dangerous to be away from the flock. One day the good shepherd came and noticed that the little lamb wasn’t with the other sheep. Upon asking where the lamb was, the good shepherd was told about the purple grass and where the little lamb could be found. The good shepherd went to the little lamb and when the little lamb was found asked why it was not with the other sheep. The little lamb explained that it liked purple grass and that was against the rules and if it continued to eat this purple grass the good shepherd would not love the little lamb. At once the Good Shepherd said to the little lamb, “Who said that I would not love you?”
My friend who said that God would not love you? Yes, the powers of darkness are telling you that you are not loved, but that still small voice of God is calling you just as you are whether you are eating purple grass or gay, it doesn’t matter. I know that when I heard that preacher that day I heard God speak to me, call me. I knew in that instant what you know now: God created you, God named you, God is calling you just as you are and that is good. Remember:
What may we say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not keep back his only Son, but gave him up for us all, will he not with him freely give us all things? Who will say anything against the saints of God? It is God who makes us clear from evil; Who will give a decision against us? It is Christ Jesus who not only was put to death, but came again from the dead, who is now at the right hand of God, taking our part. Who will come between us and the love of Christ? Will trouble, or pain, or cruel acts, or the need of food or of clothing, or danger, or the sword? As it is said in the holy Writings, Because of you we are put to death every day; we are like sheep ready for destruction. But we are able to overcome all these things and more through his love. For I am certain that not death, or life, or angels, or rulers, or things present, or things to come, or powers, Or things on high, or things under the earth, or anything which is made, will be able to come between us and the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:31-39
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980’s and have been legally married since 2015.