Tending Fence

I enjoyed a quiet drive through the country today. One of most favorite things to do. I had my youngest daughter with me and I was pointing out different things and sharing some of my experiences growing up in the country. It wasn’t too long and she was engrossed in something on her phone, so I just moved to musing to myself.

I was struck by a particular sight that I’ve been mulling over. It seems like this was on my mind since the instant I saw it. A large acreage heavily fenced in…a well-worn path just inside the fence line obvious from daily trips tending to the fence…pastureland that has long passed from valuable and useful into a state of neglect and harboring weeds, thistles, saplings, and brush. A gently rolling landscape of what must have been, in the past, the pride and joy of someone…but has since devolved into just something ugly.

The thought came to me immediately that this is what has happened to the church in some places. So much attention has been paid to tending fence to keep in the flock and keep out the unwanted, that the vitality and beauty of the thing has turned ugly from neglect and distraction on lesser priorities. To the point that those who pass by have no interest of getting in any longer.

I remarked to my daughter that the owner needed to do some serious “brush hogging” and burning to save the value of his property.

Maybe God does, too.

In some places I’ve been told I’m not wanted, no longer valuable, not even to be a greeter or usher…certainly not to “minister” in any way. There have been times I’ve been tempted to just keep moving on and not give the church a second chance. But, I keep driving by, hoping against hope that one day I will find an open gate and a pastureland that is beautiful from its tending.

But, then again, I’m a country boy.

Moving Past The “But”

Growing up, I learned God loved me. A whole lot. I was special, gifted, and He had a plan for my life.

Growing up, I learned that my family loved me. A whole lot. I was special, talented, and they had high hopes for me.

But…except…well, you see…there’s this little thing.

I could make God and my family love me more.

I just needed to try harder. I had to fit into the mysterious shaped hole in the human atmosphere that had been predetermined for me and left for me to struggle to discover and conform to. If I said the right things, did the right things, dressed in the right way, joined with the right people, claimed the right experiences, and avoided all the “wrongs” of those I would be loved more.

These days, I’m finding great freedom by relenquishing my hold on the “but.” I’m living in a freedom of just being me.

Well, at least to a point.

With God, nothing is hidden. I believe that God knows all about me, and nothing that He knows could possibly make Him love me any less. Period. Here, the “but” is nonexistent. No need to carry it.

With my family, many know all the good, bad, and ugly. And I believe they love me unconditionally in spite of all that. Others of my family, if they were to know all the bad and ugly stuff, would still love me, but that love would be strained and its expression forced. Here, the “but” is always in play. It is a constant.

I probably won’t ever be able to fully move past the “but” in this life. But, I believe, at the dawning of the next it will have faded into obscurity.

-Trevor

 

#gaylivesmatter

The attached article was written as a Christian response to the #blacklivesmatter campaign. It is a powerful call to the church to embrace this important element of its true existence. I believe that it can also be interpreted as a call that #gaylivesmatter. It is a reminder that too many are lost to us and we must do all we can to stop the broken lives and hopelessness.

https://sojo.net/articles/social-justice-christian-tradition-not-liberal-agenda

Gay ≠ Lesser

Good thoughts…important questions.

Another Anomaly Among Many

I recently sat down with one of my friends to catch up on life, and the reflections that I had after that conversation are the basis of this post. Now, I generally try to refrain from writing angry/irritated posts just for the sake of it, but I’ve been realizing that if this blog is going to be about my experiences, it has to include everything, because other people have probably felt those things too. So I’ll try not to just go off on everything, but what I write here is going to encompass all the different things that I’ve felt and experienced.

What I’ve been thinking about since my friend and I had that conversation is this: why do people automatically view us as being somehow dirtier, more sinful, and less sincere about our faith just because we identify as LGBT? Why do our theology and our motivations get questioned…

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