GCNconf day 2: Mohammad and the Gay Christian

His name is Mohammad and he laughs when I ask with that hopeful childlike expression if they serve hot chocolate for breakfast here at the Hilton. Yes, they do and that makes me very happy.

I am here at the Gay Christian Network Conference and despite being helpful whenever he can and trying his best to speak as accent free as possible, Mohammad doesn’t look all too happy. Is it because he has to serve women, or does he just not have a good morning? I can just assume that he is a Muslim. I do not know. Yet something tells me he is.

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The Gay Christian Network Conference in Houston, Day 1: Oh happy day!

We’ve been snowed in in Lubbock, Texas for over a week now. They say that it’s the second largest snowfall since the 1920s. Lisa and I escaped the snow and traveled to Houston to the annual conference of the Gay Christian Network. And guess what? It is warmer here. And no, I’m not only talking about the weather.

What is truly warm here is the atmosphere. An atmosphere of friendship, fellowship and acceptance that makes us feel at home right away. You know how it is at conferences or big gatherings, right? You meet a bunch of people and at the end of the day you have forgotten most of the names and faces. Not here. I remember the young man from London, England I met this morning just as much as I remember the woman and her daughter I met later that day in the hot tub, or the older guy who really just needed a hug. He was so overwhelmed by the sheer idea of being a gay Christian AND a good person.

There is a lot of beauty here. The people I met so far mean something. They are not just random people. They are stories. Important, sad, wonderful, inspiring stories. I love stories. I collect stories. It is what I do. I collect them, keep them in my heart and then send them to my God so He might keep all those people and their stories safe. Here at this conference, in this fancy hotel (it’s the Hilton after all) I feel like an empty storybook with hundreds of potential entries around me. It is the most wonderful feeling.

If I can allow myself any judgement of the people here then it is this:
They are good people. Seeking, searching, praying, hoping, laughing, joking, crying, loving people of all the colors of the rainbow.
May we have a great time together and make everyone’s life a little brighter and a bit more colorful!

Silence (2) – Between the heartbeats

The night is dark and quiet. Very quiet. We are in a small French village and it is already past midnight. The village is so small and the night so deep that not a single person is awake anymore. No cars are on the streets, no birds sing. We can close our eyes and are surrounded by nothing but darkness. It is the perfect night for silence. But it is late November and cold. Even although there is no wind, the cold creeps through our clothes and we shiver. Where to go? The desire for silence and closeness to God is overwhelming. There is an old Roman church in the center of this little village. This church has been listening to prayers and offering silence for the last 1200 years. It will certainly have some mercy with us. Come on, let’s enter!

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