In the words of a fundamental Christian: “I am so sorry!”

The sun is shining on this warm Sunday afternoon in Texas. We are sitting on the porch. Me, my wife Lisa and the old men watch the barn swallows and admire the irises. And as always we share communion. Not everybody has the privilege or the ability to visit a church whenever they feel the need. These two gentlemen don’t. They have a hard time leaving their houses as it is. Nevertheless, communion is important to them. My wife says a short prayer. My eyes are closed, my face warmed by the sun. It’s a good day in good company. Then the older of the two men, let’s call him Jack, a veteran in a wheelchair and with a cowboy hat prays out loud, too. First I smile at his words and then, one by one, they begin to choke me until I feel tears in my eyes.

“All I can say, Lord, is that I am yours. All those years I tried so very hard to be righteous but all I did was exclude and hurt people. That is not love. It is not what you want. I am yours, Lord and I am so very sorry.”

For years my wife and others have visited one of these men and brought him communion because he couldn’t make it to church anymore. And for a long time Jack, who lives just across the street has watched that, not sure what was going on. Grown up and highly active in one of the rather fundamentalist churches, he was suspicious. What were those gay people doing? How could they pretend to be Christian when the bible clearly says that they are an abomination?

Continue reading “In the words of a fundamental Christian: “I am so sorry!””

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Scary Diversity – When I found out how backwards I am

God does not talk to me.
I don’t pray about things, I think about them. For me the Holy Spirit is an abstract idea, someone who is mainly present in worship situations. I never raise my hands and I never pray together with others, standing in circles, out loud. On the contrary, I believe that I don’t have to pray about, or even pray for things because God will provide what is good for me and lead me on the best path anyway.

And then I came to the United States where everything is different.

God talks to my wife. Sometimes, she says, she can feel a “quickening” in her heart and she becomes very still and listens. She and all of her Christian friends pray about things before they make a decision. On Sundays they are so moved by the Holy Spirit, they often raise their hands in worship. They call each other brothers and sisters and stand in circles to pray together… out loud.

Am I less religious than my wife? Continue reading “Scary Diversity – When I found out how backwards I am”