emarkthomas

Trying to live love well through the power of the Everlasting.

Hey… it’s okay.

I remembered today that I’m supposed to be, I guess, the “fallen” guy.

Do you know what I mean there?

Growing up in the North American Christian circuit, there’s always a “fallen” person. You know, it usually goes something like, “Oh, there’s Albert… he’s the one that got caught having an affair with his boss, and then left his wife and kids. He hasn’t been seen in church for months… so that tells you all you need to know, I guess.”

You know, that guy. Or gal. If you’ve spent any amount of time being alive and being around people, you’ve probably experienced this in some way. I was reminded today that I’m one of those fallen guys.

I guess.

I haven’t been to church in almost nine months, I think. Something fairly close to that. Well, I work Sundays from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm, and then I work evenings during the week. Any time that any local churches have established services or group meetings, I’m working.

To be clear: this is a good thing. I have student loans that need paying. My parents are *thrilled* that I’m working, not upset that I can’t make it to church.
 
But you know, being absent for months on end creates a vacuum about yourself, and into that vacuum goes every little thought and whisper about everything you’ve said or done, and from those comes this idea of what’s going on with your mind and life currently, and boom – there’s the rumor. And if you’re not around to contradict it, then, well, the rumor is de facto truth.
 
And also, being gay and Christian is still kind of a radical and impossible idea to a very large population of Christians. So I get it when people that haven’t seen me in church for months and months read my blog and get, well, upset. I understand that they think I’ve fallen off some kind of wagon.
 
I mean, I think they’re wrong and jumping to conclusions based on outdated and insufficient data and making judgements and assumptions about things that they shouldn’t ever judge or assume without at least coming to talk to me, but hey, I really do understand.
 
We. Are. Human. Beings.
 
I get it.
 
So when a conversation today reminded me that I’m supposed to be in dire straits, on the rocks of faith and foundation and such, I reacted in a human way. I got sad, thinking about the friendships that are being affected by this perception. The people I’ve not heard from, and the activities that are happening that I didn’t get an invitation to, that kind of thing. And then I thought of a friend – one friend in particular – that I really wish would return my emails or phone calls. And then for a second I got mad. (Hey, I’m still human too, you know.)
 
But then I rememered all that I’ve learned in my crazy, messed up twenty-seven years on this planet, and what I’ve learned and seen of Papa and his Kingdom. And I realized that if I saw this friend today, there would probably be this weird, fake kind of, “Hey! How have you been? Sorry about getting back to you… so busy and all…” and I’d respond just the same, and then after a few awkward minutes we’d move on with our days and that’d be that.
 
But as the Spirit moved in my heart, I realized that what I want to do whenver that moment finally comes is to just walk up to him, give him a hug, and say, “Hey… it’s okay. Really.”
 
Because honestly… it is okay. I mean it’s not right, it’s not ideal, and there are hurting hearts strained relationships and that’s just not cool.
 
But it’ll be okay. I really believe that. Because I’ve learned a thing or two about forgiveness and tresspasses in my life, and I’ve seen Jesus’ blood cover some pretty unbelievable stuff and reconcile some massively broken relationships.
 
I’ve learned that no matter what I’m doing with my life, no matter how crazyily bad my decisions may be, or crazily awesome, God’s right there, walking and working with me exactly as I need him to for that season of my life.
 
And he’s doing it with my loved ones too.
 
So really… it is okay.
 
I forgive them, and I hope they forgive me, and I know that Papa’s got a plan, and I trust him.
 
I trust him.
 
So really… it’s okay. I love ya. I do. I love you, family that doesn’t accept my sexuality. I love ya, friends that backed out when it got too weird for them. I love ya. I love you. And I’m not really mad. Sure, it sucks sometimes when I talk with a friend who wants to know what my loved ones think about my whole being gay and Christian thing, but…
 
I know who you all are, really, and I love you, even if we can’t live life together well (or fully) right now.
 
It’s okay.
 
It’s okay.
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