I'm sitting in a café wondering if Beloved will happen by. It is near her place of business, and she often ducks in for a cup of coffee before starting her day. I came over on an impulse, realizing that I could as easily do what I planned to do (reading, sermon preparation) here as at home.
I was in my car the other day, pondering my search process. I began to wonder about it. Am I just being a big drama queen? (That sounded a bit Carrie Bradshaw-esque.)
People have lived their true identities quietly and with integrity for as long as there have been GLBT people-- i.e., forever.
The real work of the gospel is all there in Luke 4... bringing good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, letting the oppressed go free. It's all there in Matthew 25... giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to the stranger, clothing to the naked, presence to those in prison. Why do I need to make it all about me?
[Interlude during which Beloved came! And we had coffee and talked about what's in the paper this morning! And she invited me to see her newly cleared-and-ready-for-planting garden! Such perversion... such aberration and abomination...]
I have been reading Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan's book The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus' Final Week in Jerusalem. Early in the book, in the context of discussion Jesus' actions in the Temple, they offer the following description of "sacrifice."
How, then, did people create, maintain, or restore good relations with a divine being? What visible acts could they do to reach an Invisible Being? Again, they could give a gift or share a meal. In sacrifice as gift, an offerer took a valuable animal or other foodstuff and gave it to God by having it burned on the altar... No doubt the smoke and smell rising upward symbolized the transition of the gift from earth to heaven, from human being to God. In sacrifice as meal, the animal was transferred to God by having its blood poured over the altar and was then returned to the offerer as divine food for a feast with God. In other words, the offerer did not so much invite God to a meal as God invited the offerer to a meal.
That understanding of sacrifice clarifies the etymology of the term. It derives from the Latin sacrum facer, "to make" (facer) "sacred" (sacrum). In a sacrifice the animal is made sacred and is given to God as a sacred gift or returned to the offerer as a sacred meal. That sense of sacrifice should never be confused with either suffering or substitution.
Here's my question: what is the correct sacrifice for me to make? How do I make my life a holy offering to God? Do I do it by seeking to live "out" and that as quickly as possible? Or do I do it by continuing as I have, not exactly below the radar but not exactly above it, seeking to serve wherever health and joy seem possible, whether in or out?
Is there a right answer? Am I just being a drama queen?