I’m tired.

March 11, 2012

This is the last week of our 3rd term.  3rd term is notorious for being the hardest out of the whole year.  To be honest, this is really fifth term if you count August and January term in the academic year- which I do because I have been here for bits and pieces out of all of them.  We began with GOEs and I am ending with finishing my require remedial GOE stuff since I scored a few twos on my GOE exams.  I thought I would hate the extra work but time with our diocesan scholar has actually been time well spent and a time I have looked forward to.

I’m tired.  Between the responsibilities of being a student, a seminarian in field education, the student body president, looking and interviewing for a job and trying to bounce back from the emotional, physical and spiritual toll that a rheumatoid arthritis flare that lasted for two months can take on the body- It has not been a pleasant six weeks. But I love this place and I love the people and I still wake up each day excited about what is to come and who I get to walk with as part of this journey.

This week I got to meet with Bishop Spong as my dinner table guest.  We talked for an hour about the church, about where there is hope and life and where I hope to enter in and make a difference.  I got to meet with Bishop Gene Robinson and hear about a new vision and mission taking place at St. Thomas in Dupont Circle here in Washington DC.  I get to meet with my classmates and peers every day around a dining room table and talk about everything from ethics to the Bible to ministry.  I am being taught on so many levels by so many people. I am one lucky and blessed person.  And, at the end of the day I am tired.

I don’t mean tired in a bad way- bored and tired, but more like this is all so exciting that I am tired out by the prospects of how all of this interaction is changing me, forming me, shaping me into the priest God has called me to be.  I long for and yearn for some stillness to process, to swallow, to marinate and steep in all that God has offered me through my relationships with others in our Church and in our community.  The process of slowing down and listening allows me to figure out what I want to carry with me into the next phase of this journey.  I would be lost at this point if I didn’t have a pretty grounded prayer discipline and a wonderful group of friends to let my hair down with, to lower the cornfield I normally surround myself in.

I have been waiting for the next step for 35 years.  Almost to the date.  35 years.  That is a loooonnnnggg time to be preparing for what comes next.

Recently I submitted the name I wanted to have written on my diploma that I will receive in May.  In writing my God given name I wept because I knew the next time I heard that name said aloud publicly I will be receiving my Mdiv, in paper format, a symbol and testimony to the journey through my whole life to that point.  And I stopped mid sentence and took notice of just how tired I have become.  I’m tired.

I’m tired of waiting for the church to pull its head out of the sand.  I’m tired of having to prove to someone that I am worthy of a place around the table based on my sexual orientation and I am tired of waiting for the rest of the world to wake up and realize that we have talked about sex for so long because we were trying to put off the real nexus of our conversation- how do we really need to love our neighbor, how do we really need to be the hands and feet of Christ in this broken world.  I’m tired of having to redirect the energy that is focused on too small of a conversation to a much bigger and more important issue that is at hand.  I’m tired.

You will notice that I didn’t write angry or fed up or ashamed or pissed off.  I wrote and feel tired.  When I step into the role of priest, pastor, minister and companion, I do not do it with my sexuality.  I do it with the heart that God created and designed to offer to this world in the capacity of one who ministers- in an ordained capacity- to be more specific.  I serve all whom I encounter, not just my gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or queer brothers an sisters- but everyone whom I encounter.  Even the gentleman or woman who would not receive me based on my sexual orientation.  My Bishop asked me a long time ago when I first entered into the discernment process if I could serve a church that may not love me back.  Without hesitation my answer was yes. Like it or not, I’m going to love you as my brother or sister in Christ because that is what God has called us to do.  At the very root and beginning of our relationship with and in Christ, we are called to love God and love our neighbor… no pre qualifiers, no check off lists, no adjectives.  Just love.  You.  Me.  Love.  And I am tired of trying to justify why and how I love you.  Why and how I love God.  Why and how this love exists between us.  I would rather spend that energy in loving you.

I was turned down from a job 5 minutes into a conversation because I was asked if I would submit to limiting my love, or boxing in my love to fit a nice little world that that church and diocese I was applying to wanted to subscribe their faith and understanding to. I have done that three times now in this season of interviewing.   I have walked this walk with every bit of integrity and authenticity that I have and I was not about to start shutting out or shutting off part of who I am just for the sake of a getting a job.  Who would I be serving if I did that?  How would I be serving if I took that kind of step?  In that one conversation my fatigue turned into focus, my tiredness turned into tenacity, my suppose into certainty.  God called me.  All of me.  That means my body, soul, mind, spirit and heart.  To give up part of me is to give up all of me.

I am tired.  I feel tired in my bones, in my soft tissue, in my mind but not to the point of surrendering.  If anything, I am more alive because of the battles this job search has brought with it.  Each interview brings with it a glimmer of hope.  A bit of promise that there is life outside of the dialogue I have had with my classmates, my schoolmates and my professor over the past three years. We are called to be in relationship with one another.  We are called to listen to and discern the voice of God in our lives.  For me that requires that I listen fully and completely to where and how God is calling me  and I must not forsake the beautiful creation that God has created within my being.

I may be tired, but I still have a great deal to offer, to teach and to learn as far as my next step is concerned.  I cannot wait to look into the eyes of a fellow companion, pilgrim and traveler along the way and say, “no matter who you are or what you have done, God loves you and God will always love you.”  I am tired of not hearing that in return.

I’m tired.

March 11, 2012

This is the last week of our 3rd term.  3rd term is notorious for being the hardest out of the whole year.  To be honest, this is really term fifth if you count August and January term in the academic year- which I do because I have been here for bits and pieces out of all of them.  We began with GOEs and I am ending with finishing my require remedial GOE stuff since I scored a few twos on my GOE exams.  I thought I would hate the extra work but time with our diocesan scholar has actually been time well spent and a time I have looked forward to.

I’m tired.  Between the responsibilities of being a student, a seminarian in field education, the student body president, looking and interviewing for a job and trying to bounce back from the emotional, physical and spiritual toll that a rheumatoid arthritis flare that lasts for two months can take on the body- It has not been a pleasant six weeks. But I love this place and I love the people and I still wake up each day excited about what is to come and who I get to walk with as part of this journey.

This week I got to meet with Bishop Spong as my dinner table guest.  We talked for an hour about the church, about where there is hope and life and where I hope to enter in and make a difference.  I got to meet with Bishop Gene Robinson and hear about a new vision and mission taking place at St. Thomas in Dupont Circle here in Washington DC.  I get to meet with my classmates and peers every day around a dining room table and talk about everything from ethics to the Bible to ministry.  I am being taught on so many levels by so many people. I am one lucky and blessed person.  And, at the end of the day I am tired.

I don’t mean tired in a bad way- bored and tired, but more like this is all so exciting that I am tired out by the prospects of how all of this interaction is changing me, forming me, shaping me into the priest God has called me to be.  I long for and yearn for some stillness to process, to swallow, to marinate and steep in all that God has offered me through my relationships with others in our Church and in our community.  The process of slowing down and listening allows me to figure out what I want to carry with me into the next phase of this journey.

I have been waiting for the next step for 35 years.  Almost to the date.  35 years.  That is a loooonnnnggg time to be preparing for what comes next.

Recently I submitted the name I wanted to have written on my diploma that I will receive in May.  In writing my God given name I wept because I knew the next time I heard that name said aloud publicly I will be receiving my Mdiv, in paper format, a symbol and testimony to the journey through my whole life to that point.  And I stopped mid sentence and took notice of just how tired I have become.  I’m tired.  

I’m tired of waiting for the church to pull its head out of the sand.  I’m tired of having to prove to someone that I am worthy of a place around the table based on my sexual orientation and I am tired of waiting for the rest of the world to wake up and realize that we have talked about sex for so long because we were trying to put off the real nexus of our conversation- how do we really need to love our neighbor, how do we really need to be the hands and feet of Christ in this broken world.  I’m tired of having to redirect the energy that is focused on too small of a conversation to a much bigger and more important issue that is at hand.  I’m tired.

You will notice that I didn’t write angry or fed up or ashamed or pissed off.  I wrote and feel tired.  When I step into the role of priest, pastor, minster and companion, I do not do it with my sexuality.  I do it with the heart that God created and designed to offer to this world in the capacity of one who ministers- in an ordained capacity- to be more specific.  I serve all that I encounter, not just my gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or queer brothers an sisters- but everyone whom I encounter.  Event the gentleman or woman who would not receive me based on my sexual orientation.  Like it or not, I’m going to love you as my brother or sister in Christ because that is what God has called us to do.  At the very root and beginning of our relationship with and in Christ, we are called to love God and love our neighbor… nor pre qualifiers, no check off lists, no adjectives.  Just love.  You.  Me.  Love.  And I am tired of trying to justify why and how I love you.  Why and how I love God.  Why and how this love exists between us.  I would rather spend that energy in loving you.

I was turned down from a job 5 minutes into a conversation because I was asked if I would submit to limiting my love, or boxing in my love to fit an nice little world that the church I was applying to wanted to subscribe their faith and understanding to.  I have walked this walk with every bit of integrity and authenticity that I have and I was not about to start shutting out or off part of who I am just for the sake of a getting a job.  Who would I be serving, how would I be serving if I took that kind of step?  In that one conversation my fatigue turned into focus, my tiredness turned into tenacity, my suppose into certainty.  God called me.  All of me.  That means my body, soul, mind, spirit and heart.  To give up part of me is to give up all of me.  

I am tired.  I feel tired in my bones, in my soft tissue, in my mind but not to the point of surrendering.  If anything, I am more alive because of the battles this job search has brought with it.  Each interview acting as an exacting knife trimming me down until the very heart of who I am, the very heart that God has called is revealed in my answers, in my longing, in my abilities and in my ministry.  Yes.  I am tired.  But more importantly I am excited.  And there is no doubt, at all, that I am called to love and serve God and God’s people through ordained ministry.  When I do find that bridge between who I am and where I am called, I will walk across that bridge with legs that know what it feels like to be tested, with a heart that knows what it is like to live in the margins of this society, a body that knows what it feels like to be actively prayed for by people around the world and a mind that is ready to serve, completely, in the work and job I have been giving to do. I am tired.  But I can’t wait.