|photo credit Michelle at maladjustedmedia.com, from this blog post|
Fridays go one of two ways at work for me. Either they are full of unrealistic amounts of work that need to be finished before I leave or they are painfully dull as I will have nothing to do. Okay, that is slightly untrue, but from my perspective it is. Last Friday, June 8th, was somewhere in the middle of that scale, full of waiting on other people so I could finish assignments. While I was waiting, I came upon this article on HuffPo | Religion. I mean with a title like Jesus in Drag, how could I not read it?
What I expected to be an article that bashed the church for its non acceptance of gays or about some radical protest that included drag queens dressed as Jesus. What I got was the story about how a straight man, Timothy Kurek, learned to step outside his comfort zone and identify with the gay community. He did a social experiment were he lived as a gay man for a year and at the time he wasn't planning on writing a book but as the year went on, he felt compelled to share his experience with others.
What struck me about the article was his description about being in the closet and how detrimental it was for him:
The combination of knowing I had to constantly hide my true attractions and orientation, with the reality that I couldn't even hope for the possibility having a relationship, was overwhelming. And what I went through is NOTHING compared to the experience of the average gay and lesbian. They were never able to say "only 12 or eight or six more months of this before I get to be me again."As a women who doesn't have to hide the fact that I'm attracted to men, I still have a hard time approaching men to show them I am interested. Mostly because I'm scared they won't be interested in me but also I'm afraid their reaction will include ridiculing me for being interested in them. If I was attracted to women, I have no idea how I would handle it. How could I handle constant rejection from people passing me on the street? Have you seen the way people look at LGBT couples as they walk down the street, it's terrible. If I did approach a woman I thought was attractive and she reacted violently to my interest, how would I handle that physically and emotionally? Reading that article gave me new respect and love for my gay friends. It also reminded me that I have a lot to learn about relating to people and showing them Christ's love.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that we serve up the bible in America with a generous slathering of cultural bias. We spend so much time using the bible to justify our ridiculous live styles, we miss the real truth present in it. We have become so weighted down by possessions and expectations that if someone were to live their life according to the principles in the Word, we wouldn't recognize it as biblical living. We would either put that person on a pedestal and tell them how much better they are than us and how we could never do what they do or we would write them off as crazy, telling them they are taking the bible too seriously and avoid them so we wouldn't feel guilty when they came around.
I'm not saying because of this article I'm going to sell all my possessions and tour around the country yelling scripture from the top of my lungs but it has made me keenly aware of how I view people and how I treat them when they are in my presence. Here's to showing people the love of Christ and making good first impressions.