I don’t dwell on the Gay thing much at all anymore. When I first started this blog, and for many years after, it consumed much of my days. Unfortunately, when it does come up it can be a bit jarring. Clearly I haven’t fully reconciled the issue within myself.
It came up three times in the last 24 hours.
So I’m jarred.
A) Mikeal met a man at a conference this past weekend. The man was a married LDS man who was gay. Meeting Mikeal and having open and candid conversation with him must have made an impression on this man because first thing Monday morning, Mikeal received an email from him full of praise and gratitude and wishes to repay him for his kindness. Mikeal forwarded the email to me and I was reminded how blessed I am to be married to Mikeal. He is so inherently kind, loving and open.
It was jarring to me to be reminded of where we were in the not so distant past- angsty, confused husband, heartbroken and lonely wife.
TOO many people are living that nightmare.
B) I took the boys to a new barber. They love barber shops, but we haven’t found “the one” just yet, so I’m barber shopping. Clearly this barber was a “friend”, as we we like to call it. So what? I run into “friends” all the time. But this guy jarred me for some reason. Maybe he was sad and having a rough day, and I picked up on that. I don’t know, but I left feeling jarred.
C) This morning, a friend of mine posted a blog post on Facebook about a gay ex-mormon, whose youtube videos against mixed-orientation-marriage were a thorn in my side for many years. It praised him and encouraged loving and open dialogue within the church with our gay brothers and sisters. It used to be me posting those things, but since we have found peace in our marriage and have gained some more insight about the doctrine of marriage and the nature of sexuality, I am hesitant to do anything that could be construed as encouraging homosexuality. I wanted to tell this friend about the offensive language I had read on this mans blog, and the hurt his words and images caused to me. But of course that is so wrong, and only causes so much harm, so I prayed, and am still praying for forgiveness and to forgive him. (every time his face pops into my head, I take a lesson from Eat, Pray, Love andand “send him love and light, and get on with life.” Anyway… jarring.
I was praying as I was walking this morning, asking the Lord why I have been so jarred by these three encounters. Why have these encounters even happened? Is it the adversary trying to wreck my resolve as we are moving forward in Christ? Is it my weakness that have let these things bother me so much?
The answer was undeniable. These people were sent to me as a reminder that this issue is very, very real. My experience isn’t the only experience people “should” be having. The Gospel IS true, the doctrine of Eternal Marriage IS true, but homosexuality IS real, and those who live with it deserve my love and my hands of friendship, work and comfort. I still don’t know how to tow the line between truth and compassion. My black and white brain and finite knowledge prevent me from coming to any sort of comfort zone in it. But it definitely means I’m going back to the drawing board with our Far Between update. Clearly I missed the mark with the first three drafts. And it also means that I have a lot of compassion to give and mending of hearts to start on.
As always, I begin my day with a plea to the Father to know who needs his hands through me today. I’m open. It may be interesting to see what comes my way.