When I open my Bible, I read you LOVE me and have loved me since the beginning of time. It tells me that you love me so much, you died for me just so I would have the choice of accepting or rejecting you. This fact alone is mind blowing! What kind of love is this that would count a human, not yet born, as worthy?
I have known you and loved you since I was a teenager. As a teenager I promised to give you my whole being, my heart and my soul. In turn you promised to guide me, lead me, walk with me and prepare a home for me in heaven. We have a wonderfully, amazing and loving relationship.
There is nothing in my life that is more important to me than you. My faith is my number one priority. In my faith it is important to me to be honest, transparent and authentic.
You and I have had long conversations. You have whispered things in my ear … You have quickened things deep in my soul and you have shared things with me during times of prayer that I could not have known otherwise. You have given me the words to say to a perfect stranger who needed encouragement and you have helped me love friends on a deeper level and meet needs I did not even know existed.
A few of the things I have done as a direct result of our wonderful, loving relationship are feed the hungry, give to the poor, and provide for the orphans. I have introduced people to you. Some have welcomed you and some have not. I have held the hand of dying friends and prayed with them as they took their final breath. I have taken in a child that had no safe place to rest and loved him as my own. I have paid the rent of strangers and the doctor bills of friends. I have gotten up in the middle of the night to be with a friend when a pet was dying. I have prayed with individuals whose spouses were abusing them and help them find the courage, through you, to leave a life of fear. I have sung in the church choir. I have taught Sunday school. I have participated in church plays, as well as church ministries, etc. As you already know, I am not making this list for my own praise, I am merely listing examples of things done, actions taken, not in my human flesh, but because your love and grace towards me is so amazing that I cannot contain it or keep it to myself.
I try very hard to live by your example and be a reflection of you to my own little world, as well as the world at large. I fail on a regular basis, but each time you lovingly pick me up, tell me you love me and encourage me to keep moving forward. But to be honest some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are making it very hard for me to carry on, have hope and share your name and love with others.
You see, all of this comes crashing down around me and is uttered as worthless garbage rather than heartfelt ministry by the vast majority of my Christian brothers and sisters when we discuss the fact I am gay. Upon learning this one fact about me, I become a misfit, an outsider, and a deceiver. Nothing more than a preying wolf among sheep.
Some automatically exclude me from places I was once welcome. No longer am I allowed to lead. Minister. Pray openly for others. The option of church membership is taken off the table entirely.
Others say I can attend church and tithe, but not be intimately involved in any ministry or outreach until I am “saved”. Which I sincerely thought was a relationship you and I entered into when I was a teenager.
But the really confusing part for me is some of these very people who say with conviction I am going to hell, still want to partake of my kindness and love. They call me to pray for their needs. Still request my money for their causes. Still eat food I have prepared at my table. Some will even go so far as to say I am very much like you, but yet they have no doubt, and make no bones about the fact I am going directly to hell.
Jesus, I have never claimed to be a theologian. I have spent hours in your word, in prayer, getting to know you better and more intimately. But as far as Greek or Hebrew goes, as far as what words originally meant I do not know. I am weary of “fundamentalist” theology, “mainstream” theology, “gay” theology, “feminist” theology, “left” theology, “right” theology or any other theology that does not bear your name and your name only.
The deepest desire of my heart is to know you better and more intimately. I want to be a richer, more accurate reflection of you. I want to share your goodness, love and grace with a hurting and deeply wounded world. Can you help me do that?
I would like to end this letter by asking you for your help. Please give me the strength, courage and wisdom to listen for your voice. The voice I have learned intimately over the years. Please give me the grace to love those who would attempt to rip you from my life and cast doubt on the validity of our relationship. Give me compassion for those who tell me you hate me and lie to me about my very soul. In essence, help me be more like you with every breath I take. I don’t need the road to be easy, I just need the strength to walk it.
Thank you for being my best friend.
Above all else, love,