Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Anonymous Letter From a Homosexual To The Church

Dear Church,

I’m in such pain; I just had to write something to someone, because there’s no one to call at this hour. Don’t think poorly of me because I am still learning to lean on God… and because sometimes I need arms to hold me; even God said it is not good that man be alone. I don’t want to disturb anyone at this hour. I’m afraid if I did, they would reject me… people seem to be eager to help when it’s convenient. For me to call someone now would be inconvenient, and I could not take the possible rejection on top of the pain I already feel in my heart. Sometimes the stuff I'm forbidden to have can look awfully good when I'm feeling empty on the inside, with no one to call.

I like what I’ve learned from the bible, even though it’s hard to accept some things. But I need more; I need to see Jesus modeled by the Church. I need to see you who believe actually BE the ears, arms, and eyes of God. I need friends. I need guys in my life I can get together with - pals, buddies… I need the stuff I didn't get growing up, and that most guys don't have time for in the Church - because they have families and fathers and careers already. But I don’t need a baby sitter or a teacher; I need a human being who cares and who is willing and able to be a friend. I need men in my life who will love me where I’m at, who are willing and able to spend time with me; I need men to show me examples of what a healthy relationship between men looks like, not just an hour a week at Sunday school… but in real life.

I think guys who have families forget what being single is like... some will argue the reverse, that I’m better off single… but they don’t know what they have – and they would rethink things if they found themselves alone, as I am. They want to fix me, and think that I should bury myself in work like they do; but maybe that burial is why their marriages are dying. Maybe I’m not the only sick one here – maybe most guys are just as scared as I am over sharing their hearts. I've had several suggest that the right job would fix my loneliness... but I know from personal experience that work doesn’t fill the need for human contact, and the secular workplace doesn’t fill the need for Godly relationships with other men.

Sometimes you, men of the Church, make comments that I’m too open, and sometimes I think to myself, “You should be a man, keep the feelings in and be strong.” But is this really what God wants – or is it male pride? I think those words “Be strong” are whispered directly from Satan’s mouth into my ear… and the ear of every man… because in my strength, I draw away from needing God and others, and I am really weak – even though my pride fools me into thinking I am powerfully “self-reliant”. And when I am weak, I am strong, because I am more connected with God and with other men… because I need them.

Heck, the people I can relate to most in any setting seem to be the older ones or the kids - because most of the guys my age have lost something that kids and older people have. I don't know what it is, maybe people my age are too arrogant, too set in our ways, too proud, or too busy to be bothered with such “trivial” things as friendship and love. I miss friends from my old life… because even though some of those interactions might have been sinful, at least I had friends who would spend time with me. The Church can seem pretty sterile when the only time I see you – you who call themselves “brothers and sisters” – is in a bible study or at church. I feel like I'm starving for human interaction, when all I get is two or three hours a week in groups. Is this what you would call “ministering”?

Do you, dear Church, want to know the real reason I stumble into pornography and gay sin? It is for one reason: I am starved for relationship, for friendship, for touch... but I am afraid to ask, and be told “no” yet again. The pornography might be sin, but at least the “high” took my mind off the pain of isolation for a little while, when you weren’t willing to; and pornography is always there; you, men of the Church, are not. It made me forget my loneliness. When life gets tough, you have wives and family to comfort you – or at the very least to keep you occupied. When my life gets tough, married men tell me to seek comfort in God – spoken from the comfort of their wives arms. This is convenient… for them. I have put work into relationships, and you didn’t have time, dear Church. It’s funny how you have time to condemn homosexuals, to rally to abolish gay marriage, or get on the band wagon over this cause or that, all in the name of God. But you don’t have time to be friends with a homosexual who wants to change. If I were to define hell, it would be "a void of relationship". If I were to point to a place on earth where I have found the most hell, it has been within the walls of the Church. I’m tired of all the verses and the theory. You want me to change; stop talking and SHOW me how to be a loving Christian in Godly relationships by LIVING that theory with me, by inviting me into these relationships… or I will stumble – and you, men of the Church, will not be guiltless.

I want to live life, to share life with people. There seems to be no outlet for me – the single male struggling with sexual brokenness – to do this, other than little bits here and there. I have much to offer, along with my peers, even though I am also needy. I want the touch of another human being. I want it to matter when I laugh and when I cry, and I want the tears and laughter of others to matter to me. I am frustrated by so many things in not only our society, but in the Church; men do not know how to love one another as God intended... if we all did, there wouldn't be so much homosexuality; it is a backlash, a result of men not loving as they should... including you, men of the Church.

I have one dream... I want Jesus to hold me, to let me cry, to sob, to let my body shake with the grief of the losses I have felt in my life. I want him to be there and hold me through it, whether I cry for a minute, a day, or a year... until finally there are no more tears left. And then I want to fall asleep in his arms, I want to be safe. I want to go back, to be a kid again, and to get what I didn't get back then, what I can't get now by myself, but which can only come through Jesus and through other men in a healthy way. I am frustrated and angry - and I feel cheated, that I have no attraction to women, that I have no family. I have worked so hard simply to overcome the trauma of the rejection I went through from my father... he didn't mean to do it, but I carry those deep scars, and they go right to the foundation of my heart.

Do you want to crucify the homosexual, or save him? If you want to save him, here I am, and I’m asking to be saved. I’m asking you to be Christ’s arms and ears, to hold me and let me cry, to let me know Jesus does care about me – that even though I feel rejected and broken and alone, at least someone does care. Or do you want to help in theory, so you can feel good about yourselves? Or maybe it’s just easier to throw the first stone. Some days, I would thank you for throwing that stone; the pain would end.

I know you can't fix me. You may not know what to say. Men of the Church, you think you have to say something profound to "fix" others. Wrong. You are here to teach me God’s ways by EXAMPLE, to be examples of love in a world of hatred. Ironically, I – the homosexual – am here to teach you, too, men of the Church. “To teach us?” you may ask in shock. Yes, to teach you something you’ve forgotten; we are here to teach you the strength of vulnerability, the power of facing the truth - we are powerless, that we are all broken and we can fix nothing... that Jesus died to fix us. When in my weakest moments I share with you, I am doing what God wants me to. I am an example of vulnerability, and my example gives you – men of the Church – permission to shed your masks of self-strength and self-righteousness. Listen and learn, men of the Church: we can’t put on God’s armor, until we first take off our own useless armor… and we can’t do that until we set our pride aside, and get honest with one another. I’m ready. Are you?

Aren't we God's hands extended?

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