In a moment in my early morning dream today, I was at a friend’s house for a party. During the party, this estranged friend of mine approached me in conversation. I can’t remember why I went to the party, but I know how I felt – afraid.
In the present scene, the woman in conversation approached, beverage in hand. Then, with both feet firmly planted on the ground, and a hand held out for balance, she looked me in the eyes and informed me that i was a whore.
Her face held no emotion, because emotion wasn’t needed to state what she believed as fact. Eyebrows slightly lifted, and head tilted forward, she offered me simple information, so that I knew that she knew of my whore-ness.
Following the statement, “you’re a whore”, she continued, “you’re not our kind of Christian”.
In my dream, in that moment, I felt a full palette of emotions. Broken. Rejected. Hopeless. Anger. And Justified in my Anger.
That beautiful Anger rising up within me, I shoved my blonde, curly-haired enemy to the dirt. As I held her to the ground and shouted at it through tightly clenched fists and hot, salty tears, my ears filled with the apathetic discussions of the party-goers from inside the house.
“Christianity doesn’t want you,”they glowered, “You’re not really a Christian. You don’t belong here, with us”. And the unspoken but deeply felt thoughts, “We’re better than you, because we’re not whores”.
I hurled short, gasping breaths at this woman, the one I used to call friend, my voice rising from my core, which carries my strength. I yelled truth, that she was wrong, that Christianity did, in fact, want me. That she’s missed the point and love reaches further and wider than she’s imagining. I desperately pleaded to the other voices to hear my words, to see that the label “whore” didn’t define me.
As her unchanged expression stared at me from the ground, while my hands fought to release my righteous anger, I slowly began to realize….she didn’t care. No amount of screaming and shouting, no matter the depth and truth of my words, this woman, this person, this human, did not want to care. Mind already confirmed, I would always be an unwelcome whore.
Before I woke, I realized that in this moment, I owned the next decision. I could walk away from Christianity – a group of people and a God that didn’t want me. Or, I could embrace the truth I knew, a God that wanted me and a Christ that lives for me, and throw this group of dead friends to their own ignorance. My last option – the scariest one of all – Compassion, ripe with sweet forgiveness and slow, but hopeful, truth.
– I’ve been thinking about this dream all morning, on an 8-mile run, then during the Eucharist, then while at lunch with a friend. It rattles me as the phrase that woke me up continues to repeat in my mind. “I imagine this is how my gay friends feel”. I’ll leave the commentary at that, so the story can speak for itself. Grace and Peace. –