I want.

September 30, 2013

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I want.  I’m human and some days I want.  Most days I can look at my pile of wants and shake my head while laughing and saying, “Oh ye of little suffering.”  I live a pretty charmed life- and I don’t take that for granted but there are moments, fleeting as they are, that I. Just. Want.  This is one of those moments.

I want.  Is it wrong to want?  Is it wrong to just look up every once and a while from the work at hand to glance at the pile of wants and let one’s thoughts linger?  Is it wrong to crave even just a little taste of satisfaction of sinking one’s teeth into the very center of a want?  Is it wrong to give up precious time and energy to the daydream of wants?

I want.  It has been a long time since I have had the luxury to want.  It feels foreign and familiar all at the same time.  I want for big stuff, for worldwide stuff, for small stuff, for impractical stuff, for stuff that isn’t even real yet and for stuff that I can never have- no matter how much money or prayer or longing I try to offer- some wants will never be facts.

I want.

I want to take a ride on the Skyline Drive, through the mountains, breathe in that sweet familiar scent of autumn away from the smell of the city and the sound of I-95 that is ever present in my awake hours, behind me, lending its rhythm to the sermons I write, the plans I make, the risks I take.  On the parkway, on the skyline drive, there is no hurry, only meandering north or south, having one’s breath taken away by the view, the beauty, the reminder of how big this world is, continues to be.

I want.

I want to share in the bliss of a good night’s sleep.  To drift lazily into a dream state, closing the book, turning out the light, giving my sweet Ella dog a pat goodnight and drift, drift, drift.  And to fall asleep without medication.  Without worry.  Without being awaken from or stalled by pain.  Oh to know real sleep again- if only for one night.

I want.

I want the violence in this city to end.  I want to stop reading about loved ones being shot by other people’s loved ones for no rhyme or reason- at least none that make sense.  I want to throw my arms around this city and hold it close to my heart and rock, rock, rock until the pain goes away and love is restored.

I want.

I want to see my family.  I see them in pictures and they are growing up so fast.  I see them in pictures and I can recall the laughter and the joy in celebrations of birthdays, holidays, and simple Saturday afternoon college football get togethers.  Where two or three are gathered there is always food- not just the kind you eat but the kind that you soak up and carry in your bones and in your blood- the kind of food that is present when you are with your family.  I knew moving here would put even more distance between me and my family- some days that is painfully clear and I want.

I want.

I want to stop feeling like I have to apologize for being a Christian- for having faith, for believing in God and working to reveal the Kingdom of God here on Earth.  In order to stop feeling like it is something to apologize for I need others to stop screwing up what it means to be a Christian.  Maybe that is what I really want- I want people to stop hating other people in the name of God.  I want people to love each other, even if they can’t like each other, to still look at the other and see the face of a brother or a sister in Christ.  If we loved as much as we hated this world would be very different.  Yeah.  I want that.

I want.

I want breakfast in bed complete with a mimosa.  I want the energy, time and ability to spend the night dancing, dancing and laughing.  I want the scars on my heart to mean something, to be the lessons learned, gratitude shown for the journey and the appreciation that forgiveness comes in many, many ways.  I want to live in this day and not spend too much time worrying, planning or living in tomorrow.  I want my dog to learn how to fold laundry and put it away.  I want.

I want.

I want for so many things and most of them come from a place of privilege.  I know this.  I want to never forget that it took years, generations and generations of people, of women, of believers, of holy men and holy women, of risk takers, of fighters, of dreamers for me to arrive at this day, with my somewhat petty list of wants, to give that list of wants a little air time, and to then return to the work that I have been called to- as a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a partner, a priest, a child of God.

That did not just happen!

September 12, 2013

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So.  I have kept myself busy for the past 7.5 hours so I wouldn’t find myself sitting here writing this little rant.  Well, maybe it isn’t a rant but still, I feel compelled to write.  For my own sanity, I have to write this.

It has been a long time since I have been called an abomination.  A long, long time.  I mean, skipping the whole Westboro Baptist Church dance we had back on July 1st whose visit was to protest marriage equality taking affect in Delaware.  They say things, sing things, write things for the shear joy of pissing people off and driving people to their website and hoping that someone would take a swing at ’em in order to pad their lawsuit bankrolled church.

I took some time this afternoon to try and remember the last time I was called an abomination and the conclusion I came to was during a very dark and stormy first semester at college.  But that my friends, is a whole other blog entry that I might write some day.

But today- in a direct or indirect or both way, I was called an abomination… those people are an abomination to God.  You know who “those people are”?  Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual, Gender Queer, Transexuals and all the other beautiful colors of the human sexuality rainbow.  Yep.  Those people.

And here’s the deal.  The diatribe went on for about 10 minutes- or at least it felt that long.  During that time, I looked at the person speaking thinking to myself, “Really?  Really?  You’re going to take this time in this meeting and go off on this tangent which has absolutely nothing to do with the work we are trying to do here in this city?  Awesome.”  And then my thoughts moved to, “Screw this.  I don’t have to take this.  I can politely excuse myself and find some other way of spending this 1.5 hours each month.”  And then I started thinking of all the things I should say once he wraps up this long spew of…of… Oh. Yeah.  This is part of his belief.  This is how he reads his scriptures.  This is how he interprets God and the Word spoken by God.  There is nothing I can say, in this meeting, at this time that is going to change his life long journey towards this understanding.  So I sat there all the while praying to God to gift me with clarity, patience and love.  I have some work to do.  I am called to love him- where he is, how he thinks, what he believes; I am called to love him.  BUT there is a big difference between loving someone and agreeing with them.  As part of that love, I will remain at the table with him.  I will remain faithful in the work we are called to do as this group and I will continue to ask God to use me- in whatever way that is, to be the hands and feet of Jesus here in this city and in this world.

I must admit that for the first four minutes of this part of our meeting my fight or flight kicked in pretty hard.  I wanted to bang my fists on the table and ask him what in the hell was he saying.  And then I wanted to start picking out Bible verses to throw at him in counter argument, and then I wanted to speak to all the hate in this world that already exists and that part of our mission here is to help undo some of that hate and create a world that is more responsible for our brothers and sisters and loving our neighbor as ourselves.  But try as I might, I could not will my body to leave.

If I ran from this kind of thinking every time it has come up in my life, then I really have no idea where I would be right now but I can tell you that I wouldn’t be in Wilmington, working as a priest, trying with all I have to offer to make a difference in this world. And if that were to have happen, then they would have won.  They would have won and I would just be angry.  Make no bones about it- I am angry, shocked and kind of at a loss as to how to work with this man in our future endeavors- but I am still committed to the greater call which is using all of who God created me to be – the gay parts, the nerdy parts, the cynical parts, the broken parts, the badass parts and all the other parts that make up who I am- to be a witness to the grace, mercy and love of our God in this very sick and broken world.  Leaving the table robs me of that part of my journey.  Lord knows I love journeys.

On an up note, after this gentleman ended his sermon, two others around the table pushed back on what he said specifically about “those people.”  He’s not swayed- probably will never be while here in this life.  But I know I have at least 2 traveling companions around this particular table for the journey ahead.  For that I am very very thankful.