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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