The Gold in the Shadow

I learned, mostly through a revelation of God’s love for me, why God doesn’t “zap” people and allow us to “pray away the gay.” God gave me a gift which was a deep love of men and a capacity to minister to men who were broken with deep empathy and tenderness. It was built into my character. Into my genes. God meant it for good. But I have an enemy who knew the power of that and God allowed Him to sift me, to bring suffering which distorted that gift for a time and caused me to have deep neediness around other males and to take from them instead of give.

When the gift was restored in me it was like a new birth and the gift was not merely a natural inclination, it was truly a spiritual gifting as well. Now my spirit soul and body, all were united in giving and restoring broken and wounded men instead of using exploiting and sexualizing them. Everything that made me vulnerable to ssa was a gift and every tough experience that grew out of my seeming differences from other boys and young men was a gift too, because I now know that my wounds and pain were oddly similar to those of men who had truly good dads and good moms and I have used all of it, every instance of rejection or pain or humiliation to enrich the lives of others and to enrich my own capacity to give love, healing and blessing and to receive love, healing and blessing.

I wouldn’t change any of it. It couldn’t take the risk. How could I knowing without all that I wouldn’t be me and I have grown to love and appreciate the me I have become flaws and all. Yesterday I sat across from a dear friend and spoke a truth into his life, that he was of infinite worth, that he deserved to be loved just because, that he didn’t have to earn love and he didn’t have to be perfect to be loved. A few years ago I couldn’t have done that because I didn’t believe it or know it myself. I am who I am and where I am because of everything God has allowed in my life and the destination has been worth the ride, and the ride isn’t even over yet.

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They lied to you in Sunday School

The bible is one of the most widely published and least read books.  Almost every home has one, and it undoubtedly lays at the very foundation of basic principles of Western Civilization, but most people have knowledge of the book second or third hand.  It gets worse though.  Many of these myths get repeated from pulpits.  Take for instance, “The Curse”.  I have heard most of my life that we carry within us a curse from God as a result of the fall of Adam, but read carefully Genesis 3.

14The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;

15And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

16To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Only two things were cursed in the garden, the serpent and the ground.  Neither the man nor the woman were cursed.  That moment of awareness of sin changes all of us, but God does not curse us.  His greatest wrath is reserved for those things around us that confuse and bewilder and deceive us into distrusting His goodness.  PortlandJapaneseGarden_20120923 (1)