I often talk about my sense that part of what I’ve been called to do is to ‘normalize’ the experience of same-gender attraction within the Christian community. When you get to hang out with as many same-gender attracted and gay people as I get to, one has the opportunity to experience shared humanity, shared journeys, shared hopes and dreams – disappointments and griefs. When you do life together, you get to really see each other – the good, the bad and the ugly. And in this place of authenticity, love grows and brings freedom.
This side of heaven, we all walk with a limp. And I suppose, given our experiences, some of us have a more pronounced limp. But we’re all limpers – limpers together.
Limping is a normal part of life. A normal part of the journey of faith. A normal part of following Jesus.
In limping we discover our need for Somone who is bigger, stronger, more able than we are. As we limp, we discover that we need others to walk with us. Not to patronize, nor to judge. Not to try to ‘fix’ MY limp (while ignoring their own). But simply to hang out and do life – perhaps along the way, more often than not, forgetting we’re limping at all.
If we perpetuate the notion that experiencing confusion or questioning in your sexual identity is some BIG limp …. then we’re setting people up to try their darn best to hide the limp …. because who would want to be the biggest limper?
But if we limp out in the open, and get in relationship with other limpers, then we’re in a better place to accept, and at the appropriate times, test and explore the contours of dealing with a limp.
If I intend to befriend someone with a limp….. while steadfastly insisting that I don’t have a limp, or deluding myself into thinking I’ve hidden my limp really well (when perceptive others can spot it anyway), I’m kidding myself.
What’s your limp? How do you both accept it and submit it to the Lordship of Jesus? How do you love yourself while limping? How do you have hope in the limping? How have you experienced grace in the limping? How have you experienced redemption in your limping?
From one limper to another, I might suggest these are the questions you need to answer for yourself if you hope to be ‘Jesus with skin on’ in the life of another.
And if you think the experience of same-gender attraction is so ‘other’ …. so different than what you can identify with …. think again.
Heads up for the next post: Some of my gay friends would disagree with this whole concept of ‘limping’….. they’re so tired of being labelled as ‘broken’…… I’ll try to address these concerns and critique in the next post ……