Saturday, January 14, 2012

a side - b side = forgiveness

Oh there is this buzz in the air...a hum of activity. People reading, searching out blogs that have any reference to the latest Gay Christian Network Conference recently held in Orlando.

The comments have been flying as to why the President of Exodus was asked to be on the panel discussion. This has raised a lot of concern on both what people term side a and b.

I was sent the audio of the panel to listen to. I spent a couple of hours digesting what was said, the feelings that came across as I listened and then afterwards let it rest for a while as the thoughts began to "percolate" around my mind. A few days later, I began reading responses and comments from various people.

I won't expound on any one person, as there is just too many people writing on this event. (I do want to remind readers and I have to remind myself as well, that we can get caught up in various arenas of thought and expressions that we lose sight of getting out there and serving. There are many people in need and we are called to cloth, feed, comfort and take care of people...so lets do it)

I came away from listening and reading with a couple of thoughts.

For me, I had some serious trauma growing up. If we study brain science (Dr. Karl Lehman is doing some great work in this field) we can see that many people have some form of trauma in their lives (trauma can be described as some form of event that caused us to record/interpret an event falsely due to varying factors (this usually happens in childhood), it can be from not receiving legitimate emotional or basic things, and it can also be severe abusive experiences, emotional, spiritual, physical or sexual).
For myself, it was many of those factors, which caused me to begin to interpret all the things that I saw and experienced around me. To an outsider, we all looked pretty normal but on the inside, I was pretty messed up.

What I am getting at here...is that we will walk in relationships, talk to people out of our experiences in life. We can hold on to deep wounds...we can use that to whip or hurl anger at another person, we can hold on to unforgiveness while holding a placard up saying...we deserve an apology!! All of this within the body of Christ.

For myself, I've had to lay a lot down. I have had to continually walk out forgiving others...and letting go. Sometimes, in my humanness, I pick it back up, carry it again, but it becomes toxic and I am reminded...oh ya, this stinks. So back I go again, forgiving.

A few thoughts flew around as I listened.
1. Does culture owe me an apology for saying to me "once gay always gay?"
2. Does culture owe me an apology for saying to me "you're just lying to yourself"?
3. Does culture owe me an apology for saying to me "you're in a mixed orientation marriage"?
4. Does culture owe me?

When I broke up with my gay partner (because our relationship had fallen apart) and then met the Lord who drew me out of a gay identity paradigm...calling me to walk authentically in my faith...and then my ex partner took me to the cleaners and ultimately, I was left with almost nothing financially...DOES HE OWE ME?

WHO OWES ME? When I think about all the hurt and the unforgiveness that I listen to and hear, I think...no one owes us anything...but rather...we owe Jesus... EVERYTHING!
This isn't to just pat people on the back and tell them to get over their pain. On the contrary...it is saying...your pain is important and Jesus is able to carry it and allow you to let it go and to not carry it again. Because it becomes smelly and stinky and you become the very thing you can't forgive.

No ones life is free from pain or sorrow, some type of grief or wounding. When we hold on to unforgiveness...we begin to tell...yell...proclaim that the other person needs to STOP, the other person needs to pay...the other person is horrible. We begin to paint a picture with broad strokes putting everyone who may be associated with that person on the same canvas. If I can be so bold as to say, this is true for those on SIDE A and SIDE B. (and I kinda hate that whole side a and b descriptive...or the us vs them)

Another thought that came was "we are all human...and to human is to fall short and hurt others...we will do that...it's inevitable! But to offer grace and mercy to others is a great blessing, something that we don't do well, when entitlement and unforgiveness is holding us hostage."

I've also been described as being in a mixed orientation marriage...the fact that I am still same sex attracted, but married to a woman...who also was at one point same sex attracted (who by the way...isn't anymore), this descriptive isn't fair nor correct. I would rather say it as I am in a mixed gender marriage...I am a man, married to a woman. My orientation...is no longer defined by my sex drive. My orientation is now defined by my creator, and in him, I am a new creation, the old has passed away. That is one reason I no longer hold the descriptive that I am gay. That isn't who I am anymore. I mean no disrespect, but I stand on scripture and who I am called.

In the end...we have all been wounded...and we have all wounded. None of us is perfect, and none of us will be perfect. What we do with that is up to us. We can continue to carry our placard...pounding our fists...or we can lay down the stink...and get on with it. Forgiveness begins with a simple statement, and then a lifelong journey to continually lay it down at the cross.

So side a...and side b...it's all up to you! What are you doing to do?

2 comments:

Marcy said...

Wow Ken, That was a really powerful post. Thanks for laying your heart out again.

Sarah-Jane Melnychuk said...

Yes wow Kenny. Nicely said. :)