It’s been a very long time since the text has been used against me as sword like object to a part of my person. And, yet, the sting of such action brings forth so many negative emotions and reactions.
Tucked away in a local coffee shop reading up on literature to help me navigate LGBQT biblical questions, I received a text from my best friend.
“Uhm what’s with the first comment that someone left on your picture?”
‘Great question – what comment?,’ I thought to myself.
Earlier in the day, I posted a new picture of myself including my hair freshly styled and my tattoos showing against a white backdrop. I thought it was a nice change from the side profile of myself and my German Shepherd. I had no idea such a picture would have waiting for me a bible verse against me.
Enter first comment:
Exodus 20: 2-17 Honor your father and Mother….left by one of my father’s sisters – my aunt.
The verse seemed out of context. It wasn’t as if my picture portrayed my oozing gayness or me behaving outlandishly. I was simply just existing in the true form of myself.
It was off putting, hurtful, disrespectful and downright triggering. In fact, the whole weekend was full of struggle. From a lingering “way to show up for Father’s Day” text to the out of context bible verse – I was treading water in a brisk dog paddle set for disaster.
The truth is all I can do is work on myself. The elements around me have their own journeys to discern with God, their faith and interpretation of who they think I am, should be and how they choose to see me. For this reason and so many more, my next response to my aunt’s random insert wasn’t my best played hand.
I left 1 John 4:20 at the door of her response. “Here’s my favorite,” I said…
If we can’t love the people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?
While this is a lovely verse full of wonderful meaning – I regretted pressing send.
She sent back a few comments of how she loves God so and to have a great day. And, I ended it with “you too.”
And, packed up my things for the 6 PM service feeling heavy.
There was a nagging and gnawing feeling inside my being that fought against my inner monologue throughout the service. My own being said, “run for the hills. escape the confides of this church and run from the message God is sending.” While the Holy Spirit continued to stir in me with a fortitude of notion – “be still, hear me & know it’s ok. We can get through this together.”
Instead of running, a second nature for the person before Christ, I sat down with my pastor, confessed what I felt was wrong doing and prayed.
By listing scripture at my aunt, I had participated in the very thing that was poking my vulnerability. I was cutting off the conversation & only fighting fire with fire. I know that moving forward I need to be still and aware of God’s presence in moments like this – ESP in the pursuit of discerning seminary. The enemy knows God’s will and my small hurtful places. The only way to navigate these small wounds is through Christ.
I’m sure many of you reading this blog, like myself, have felt remorse after saying something or doing something out of defense. Often we wish for re-do’s or just that second moment more of pause before speaking.
There are times to act, times to speak and more than likely more time needed to pause before God for answers and notions of what direction to take in situations.
May God have mercy on us when we choose to jump before asking for direction and may God give us strength to seek direction first. And, to learn habits that steer us into His will & direction.