I woke early this morning thinking about our church, thinking about organized churches in general. For many weeks of Sundays before the ones of 2010, I would awaken early to get ready for church, and to go there and hear the word, and feel it, and to possess the hope that one day, our congregation would openly and lovingly embrace and welcome LGBT persons. For the Methodist churches, that is a movement that is called Reconciling Ministries. Methodist churches actively educating themselves on the needs and struggles of LGBT persons; how those persons have been actively excluded and alienated from their churches; and, take action in inviting and openly welcoming those persons into their congregations. Bold, yes. But so necessary.
So, I wondered what it was about this process that seemed to not be possible in our congregation. I don’t think it was out of a lack of wanting it to be; for there were some congregation members who seemed willing, albeit very few, actively willing to go forward.
I don’t see lack of courage as an issue; for there were many times, in speaking to the congregation about this very issue, when I myself was filled with dread and fear; so in my mind, courage isn’t required.
So this morning, this quote came barrelling into my awareness, and it says it so well for me:
“You cannot be shy when facing injustice; you must be BOLD, bold with action.”
This quote which I thought of this morning, perfectly states the dilemma of churches I believe. The shyness that many of us humans have, including myself, about speaking up for what is right, for what we want, simply in speaking up for ourselves.
You see, I am the author of my life; I always have been, but now, I am actively writing the story. And, these are a few of the non-negotiables of which I am certain:
I MUST speak up for what is right. I cannot feel shy or self-conscious about it, for when I do, I give up to the injustice that is occurring. This applies to everything I have stood for so far in my life, whether it be children’s issues, LGBT issues, or the rights of animals. I need to clearly speak for justice.
I CAN be afraid. It is almost like walking forward, intentionally into my life, calls for a certain amount of fear. Fear keeps me balanced in a way; it keeps me clear in my purpose, because it helps to weed out my impulsivity and my actual goals, in a way. I have the capability of feeling courageous, but sometimes that is lagging a bit behind. I often begin when I am presenting a training on LGBT identity, by telling my audience that when I come out to someone, I always feel as if I am jumping off of a cliff; exilerated, but scared as hell.
In addition, being bold about injustice will always be important to me, however, speaking up for what I truly want, standing in my truth, will always be just as important. I must also not be shy about speaking up for what I want; I must be bold, with action. At times, speaking up for what I truly want, for what my truth really is, seems self centered and wrong. However, as I explore more and more about myself, my life, and my purpose here, I know that to do less than that is the wrong thing. I must speak up, and, I must also DO if I want to author the life I truly want for myself.
So, my friends, I advise you to do the same; to truly live the life that you are meant to live; to tap into what is your integrity; to not be shy, but to always be bold, with action.