I read nakedpastor. He's on my blog feed, so I see every post, and I am continually surprised and moved by his many faceted online witness. He is a painter: his paintings, especially those depicting loneliness or isolation, move me. He is a cartoonist: his panels range from the smiling, winking "Oh, yeah, isn't church like that?" to the truly provocative and even disturbing. He is a writer: his reflections on life, the pastorate, the church are always profound and edgy. He is a Christian: his struggles are laid bare on the page (screen) for us to read. It can be pretty raw. It is always real.
Today he posts a cartoon, "Closet Safety." It was inspired by this interview with Christian singer/ songwriter Ray Boltz, who has recently come out (after a thirty-year marriage with children) and is attending a Metropolitan Community Church in Florida.
The interview moved me. Boltz is not interested in being a poster boy for the gay community, but he recognizes, with humility, what his coming out will mean to many Christians who have loved his music over the years. I am still muddled on this issue, which seemed so clear to me months ago that I thought it was a matter of months, a year at most, until I would come out to my congregation. Today I am not so sure. I think I've said this here before: I wonder if it's because, as my relationship with my congregation deepens and grows, I become more cognizant of what I would lose, should I lose this relationship.
And-- honestly-- the current economic woes all Americans face have taken their toll on my enthusiasm for coming out as well. To give up a comfortable pastor's salary (interesting, isn't it, that I assume I'd be giving it up? where's the hope that I would be able to stay?) as my savings have been decimated by the recent downturn... I don't know if I can do that. At least, I don't think I can do it today.
Maybe that's a gift to me from the 12-step program: focus on today. Maybe that's all I can do: try to live with integrity today. I think that will have to be enough.