Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Realization

I hesitate to go into the kind of detail here that might start someone down the road of figuring out who I am and where I am. I don't think that should come as an earth-shattering revelation on a blog called "Closeted Pastor." You get that. So... suffice it to say, life has offered me an opportunity to do something connected with my ministry in which my views on LGBT ordination may well become more widely known (more widely than, say, among reasonably close clergy chums who don't know I'm gay but who share my views). And I have struggled with this just a bit. I want to do this thing, but there is a part of me that is very, very afraid of the doors it may open in some folks' minds.

But I decided to go ahead and do this thing. It feels right. I can't think of anything else to do, no other response feels right. And this morning as I was combing my hair after my shower, it dawned on me: my ministry cannot be primarily about my own safety. It can't really be about that at all, when it comes right down to it. As this thought traversed the long lonely corridor that is my mind at 7 AM, I started to laugh. What a relief! It doesn't have to be about my safety!

Mind you, I am not looking to court danger, engage in risky behavior, or all the rest of it (and by "danger/ safety" of course, I refer to the status of my ordination, nothing else. I am privileged to live in such a time and place wherein those terms may be bandied about in such a way.) But... it was just so clear to me, the right thing to do, the thing that I believe will lead to a more authentic witness to the gospel. The slightly not safe thing. I had to do it. I have to do it.

My ministry cannot be about my safety. A sobering thought that made me laugh this morning.

14 comments:

Alex said...

Peace to you...

Anonymous said...

Good luck! Having been closeted, I totally understand. It just gets in the way.

i'm sure this will be a great opportunty for you and a great asset to those you will be dealing with.

as far as your safety goes, many people will not imagine that you can be gay if you have children. (Which is funny, because most of the lesbian couples I know, including my own partnership, have at least one partner who is divroced-with-kids).

A few people will suspect anyone who has anything to do with a sympathetic GLBT group.

most, I hope, will not care. MOST people do not wander around obsessing about the sexual preferences of other people, and are happy with a "don't ask don't tell" (though they seldom realize what it costs. But that's another post.)

IT

KJ said...

That is a very liberating, and truthful thought. One thing that made my coming out a bit easier, and much more certain, was realizing that the faith community in which I was hidden was all about keeping us all "safe," but of little earthly or heavenly good. Since when was that part of the deal? As Mr. and Mrs. Beaver tell the children in The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, "Safe? Who said anything about being safe?" And who do we help by keeping ourselves "safe"? Besides, God's promised to take care of that end of things.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Cecilia---what a journey you are on! You are taking one step at a time toward wholeness, and that is a wonderful thing.

I pray for your safety, though. I want you and Beloved to be able to live and love freely---without losing your right to minister. God knows, the world needs more like you...

Suzer said...

I hear what you are saying, but I fear for you. :(

Cynthia said...

Peace, prayers and courage for you, my friend. You really can't get off to a better start than one with laughter.

don't eat alone said...

Cecilia

Years ago I heard a missionary from Lebanon speak at a time when Lebanon was extremely volatile. When she finished her talk, which had been about going back into the fray, one woman said to her, "We will pray for your safety."

"Oh, please don't," said the missionary, "because to be safe would mean I would not go back. Pray for me to be faithful."

As I will pray for you.

Peace,
Milton

LittleMary said...

i am so glad to be with you.

Kate said...

Cecilia, you rock. Prayers heading your way!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Cecilia, wouldn't you call that an epiphany? I offer my prayers for you as you move forward.

Jan said...

Cecilia, you are such a brave woman! Speaking your truth is a scary thing to do. Hold onto your truth and THE truth that you are God's beloved. Peace be with you.

Jan said...

Cecilia, I thought of you when I read this passage in "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene" by Jean-Yves Leloup. So here it is:

"Yeshua is not saying 'Blessed are you, unhappy victims, be happy in your martyrdom.'He is saying 'Do not let yourself be stopped by persecution, slander, and all sorts of violence. Use these as a challenge and opportunity for growing in consciousness and in love. Discover within yourself the same patience (passion) that I found when faced by my adversaries. This is truly your opportunity to live the greatest of exercises, which is love of one's enemies.' You will then discover within yourself that 'terrifying force of humble love,' which is able to 'forgive them, for they know not what they do.' Thus you continue to teach your enemies not only with your words, but with you acts." (79)

Whew! Go forth, Cecilia. . . .

RevDrKate said...

Blessings on this journey. And prayers.

Joni said...

I like the way you think. And I pray that your journey will be one where you are protected on every side.