Saturday, February 24, 2007

Journey and Friendship

My friend Peterson just wrote an excellent post titled "The Many Flavors of Gays". I've never met Peterson "live" and in person but we've talked on the phone many times. He was one of the first to contact me and offer comfort and support when Tdub seemed to have so hastily made his exit from our marriage and his entrance into his life as a gay man. Peterson has been a blessing to me during this difficult leg of my journey. So MANY of you have (see my blogging friends links for specifics!) but right now, I'm going to write about Peterson! :)

My friendship with Peterson is what being a Christian looks like. Gay or straight. Peterson defines himself as a quirky, queer Quaker and an ex-gay survivor. He travels all over the world presenting one-man shows about all sorts of issues related to being queer in pretty much any fashion. He's such a great friend to me that I don't have to worry about offending him as I attempt to describe what he does and use words like queer. I can complain or rant to him about what I see as problems "the gays" have brought upon themselves. We can find humor in the hypocrisies of evangelicals, emergents, gays, straights, heteros, homos, or just plain weirdos! Peterson and I don't agree about everything. We listen to each other. We talk. And then, we pray.

Several weeks ago, just after my divorce was final, Peterson called to check on me. More often than not, that's how it goes. Most of my friends (and family) know that I'm not so good at remembering to call people. Actually, it's not the remembering, it's staying focused long enough on the thought of calling to actually do it. I tend to get distracted somewhere between, "I need to call Daddy" and the actual act of finding the phone and making the call. Nevertheless, on this particular evening Peterson had called to "check in".

We talked for a while and then he asked if we could spend some time in prayer. And we did. It was silent for a good bit because that's the Quaker tradition. Peterson prayed, then I prayed. We prayed for guidance, comfort, peace.

We didn't pray for an end to the gay/straight culture war or for gay marriage to be approved. We didn't pray for all the gays to become chaste or all the straights to....uh....ok, that works.....become chaste. Peterson didn't pray for God to reveal to me that homosex is really part of His intent and plan for mankind and I didn't pray for Peterson to really and truly meet Jesus so he can become straight and fulfill his destiny before Jesus comes back and he's left behind.

We just prayed for each other as individuals. And it was sweet and most importantly, I sensed God's spirit. Our various doctrines and theologies do not prevent us from simply loving each other and praying together.

We are all on a journey. Like the Ethiopian Eunuch. He was headed toward Jesus and had been for some time. His encounter with Phillip, and his baptism, were a part of that journey. I am blessed, again and again, that Peterson and all of you have become part of my journey. My prayer is that my part in your journey points you toward Christ.

love and grace,

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the_Tmac said...

we were at the Ridglea this summer, too! we love Rob Bell. have you read his book, velvet elvis? he has that one, and a new one coming out this summer called "sex god"...something about the parallels of sexuality and sprituality.

to download his sermons, go to
click on connect and "listen online".

i'll bring you some old favorites of his i have on my computer, too. :)

Ally said...

God is so good.

I've spent the last hour or so reading articles I found by searching for "transgender" on Al Mohler's website. It was like watching a car made me feel so hurt and angry and sick inside, but I couldn't stop reading.

And then I read your post. And I'm smiling through my tears.

I'm praying the whole church will become like you and Peterson, Pam.

FeatherIron said...

Peterson sounds like a neat guy. Glad he has been there for you. I need to go read his blog!

the_Tmac said...

how fun! no, i didn't know you taught art. i used to teach music! see, that's why we're so crazy in the head.

the baby just may need some funk. maybe some jungle vines or something. we have lots of jungly kinda stuff. thanks for the offer! i'll keep ya posted...

grace said...

tmac: i'm so glad we "found" each other! what a wonderful new friend you are already! (for those who read the comments, tmac is drew's 6th grade math teacher and we've recently discovered that we are "kindred spirits" in many ways)

ally: i'll go and read some of that stuff so i can get a feel for what you're talking about. i'm glad you were blessed in a positive way by stopping here! much love to you!

carole: thanks carole! peterson is a good listener and full of grace.

robert said...

You are a wonderful friend and don't need to worry about this Gay factor! all u know is that u indeed have a great friend with u and by God'd grace ur friendship will continue wishes! :)

Christine said...

Yay, Peterson-love abounds. And Pam-love. I am so glad that I know both of you. I respect you so much Pam. And I'm sorry that my sister moved...not sure how we'll meet now! But maybe someday...I still will probably end up flying into the big airport near you some of the time, so who knows. You are someone I'd really love to meet. Hugs to you.

grace said...

Hello All!

I've had a YUCK YUCK stomach flu for three days...but am finally returning to the land of the living.

Robert: you're a new robert, right? not MY robert? just wondering...and thanks so much for stopping and commenting! :) My robert has a different writing style and no blog but is also very encouraging like you. Yay for guys named robert, i didn't say gays named robert! hahahahaha! hope you find that funny...the other robert would. ;)

Christine: We will meet. I don't doubt it for one instant. It's just a matter of when. Our spirits have met already and that's the biggest part of the introduction, the most important part.

love and grace,