Visible Witness from the Intersection

a journey through the love of Christ reflecting the spectrum of gender and sexuality.

The Word of God Is Love March 28, 2010

Filed under: Daily Devotional Pages — visiblewitness @ 4:37 am
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When I witness hatred of others because of those they love, I feel ashamed.  When I read about attacks on people because of those they love, I feel anger.  When I hear speech used as a weapon against others because of those they love, I feel weary.

But the hate of others, the attacks of others and the words of others are not my adversaries.  Fear is my adversary—my own fear as much as the fear of others.

I pray that the Word of God will enter the hearts, the hands and the mouths of others, and maybe that will come to pass.  But I know that the Word of God can enter my heart and take my shame from me.  I know that the Word of God can enter my hands and take my anger from me.  And I know that the Word of God can sustain my weary heart and help me love those who would hate me, those who would attack me and those who would call out against me.  For the Word of God is “love” and “love” is the only answer for fear.

-T.J. Fitzgerald

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The Struggle to Live in Truth and Faith March 23, 2010

Filed under: Daily Devotional Pages — visiblewitness @ 3:02 am
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We all work to examine ourselves: who we are, what we do, and where we are going.  In my process of self-examination, I look for help from friends, therapy, meditation and prayer. I know that the answers are not easy nor are they always definitive.

It is not easy to question ourselves.

To recognize and to acknowledge that I am gay was not easy. But it is not easy to be a Christian, either. It is not easy to break with the teachings of my past, or those things that are blocking me and even distracting me, making me feel as if I cannot receive the infinite love and kindness of God.

And so I struggle to be optimistic, persistent, and humble. I struggle to believe in a promising future. I must remember to trust God, and to continue in the work to find peace with myself and with my neighbor. I call upon God to continue to refine me.  I ask for help knowing that I cannot do it alone. I pray with the strength God has implanted within me to reinforce my faith that I may live in the example of Christ.

My goal is to know that I did everything that I could in this lifetime to follow Christ’s example, that I will have fulfilled my promises and duties as a Christian, that I will have lived always with full confidence in God.

I suppose that we all have “closets” or secrets. In my own search for truth, I am clinging to my faith in God.  I pray that this will bring me peace and a more joyful life.

-Walter Perez

 

Christ’s Acceptance March 19, 2010

Filed under: Daily Devotional Pages — visiblewitness @ 4:26 am
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When I think of Christ as he “welcomes sinners and eats with them,” my heart is filled with the understanding that Christ also accepts and loves me.  The Pharisees and scribes, as so many people are still today, were filled with their own agendas of self-righteousness and conceit.  Their denial to commune and accept others different from them was a sin toward their neighbor.

Jesus Christ teaches us that God is Love, and frees us to love others as we love ourselves. Love is not hard to do: when fear and misconception are set aside, and trust in Christ is firm, then there is acceptance and understanding, and not judgement. I like to think that diversity is God’s way of letting each and every one of us know that we are not alone. My late father used to advise me as I was growing up in the 1960s, “Never think of yourself as ‘above’ anyone else in life, son. And also never let anyone else make you feel ‘less’ than they are.”

I have felt the humiliation of being made to feel by “Pharisees and scribes” less than equal, less than acceptable, less than human.  But I never bought into those fears and taunts. Instead, I have always remembered my father’s words and the words of Jesus Christ, they resonate in my mind and in my heart: “God is Love.”

-Stephen Michael Shearer 

 

Throwing off the Shackles March 18, 2010

Filed under: Daily Devotional Pages — visiblewitness @ 4:23 am
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When I was very young I was painfully shy.  I was an only child, and by nature obedient. For some unknown reason, at an early age I was chastised and made to feel shame. When I was in high school I became active in the local church.  It was only then I came into my own. I was given tasks to do, and became useful in ways I had not been before.  I designed for functions, I worked in the kitchen, and I was given voice in church decisions.  I became a “do-er”.  It was the church that first gave me creative license to express my true self. As I became a man, I felt the love of God and the power of Christ in my life. I joined Saint Peter’s Church in 1988 and truly threw off the shackles and burdens of guilt and conformity.

In my life of faith I strive to love and serve and do for others because I know that God loves me. My creativity was always allowed to thrive within the church. The rewards of that heartfelt work have been great:  by doing for others, by accepting what I cannot change or what I cannot understand, by love and faith, I daily feel a communion with Christ that is healthy and sincere.

-Michael Wickman

 

Jesus’ Welcome March 17, 2010

Filed under: Daily Devotional Pages — visiblewitness @ 4:22 am
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Sometimes even the most devoted Christians don’t get it.

Jesus was criticized for hanging out with sinners and even dining with them.  And yet we tend to dislike those whom we perceive to be more sinful than we.

I think of my father who regularly sneered at anyone who wasn’t white, straight, work obsessed.  His anger consumed his soul and he often lashed out at the “different ones.”  I was one of them.  No one quite understood, certainly not me.  But I was different.  Gay.  Liberal.  Open to the possibilities of life.

None of those aspects of my being has changed.  But anger begets anger if we’re not careful.  My father’s anger makes me angry.

What to do?  I pray, I serve, I celebrate the Eucharist repeatedly with strangers, friends alike, people different from and the same as me.  And I trust.  Trust in God’s promise of healing and wholeness and renewal.

My father is dead.  But I live on, seeking to learn from my life with him.  Welcoming.  Openness.  Fearlessness.  Godliness.  These words I constantly hold close, redefining them, growing in them, knowing that I, like every other sinner, even like my father, am welcomed by Jesus himself.

-William Heisley