Yesterday, I marched with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade here in Dallas, Texas. As the parade got congested and slowed almost to a stop, I took the opportunity to get a different experience and leave the parade route to enter into the areas where people were watching the parade. As I was standing on a sidewalk, a woman came up to me and asked, “Are you from New York?” Taken aback, I replied, “No ma’am. I am not. Why do you ask?” “Well sugar here in Dallas the whites and blacks don’t mix. Where exactly are you from?” she pushed. “I grew up on the Southside of Atlanta,” I offered. “That explains it. You are ahead of the game…you really know how to mix. Well, it was a pleasure to talk to you…and oh yeah…keep on mixing,” she said as she smiled and walked away. This short conversation spoke to me in a way that a million sermons have not. There is much truth to be found in mixing.
When we are brave enough to go to those queer spaces of borders and boundaries…we find that it is in that space that mixing occurs. When we get to mixing we find ourselves able to transcend borders and boundaries that have held us back from our self and those we call other. We leave group identity behind as we mix with others to create higher communities that value the unique differences of individuals above all else. My talk tonight is about mixing.
When we decide to get mixed up in the work of God we often find our persons in strange spaces that transcend what we know or what is known. When we cling most tightly to only want we know or what is known and refuse to allow room for mystery…it is difficult to mix with God. In order to mix with God we must be willing to travel to that space between the earthly and the divine…into the unknown or mysterious…that space where God is beyond name and being. I pray that we will be willing to mix into our lives a belief in love beyond love or the God beyond God…or simply mystery.
The dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was that all individuals would go to mixing. If God is in all of us or if we are all created in the image of God, then there is something quite divine when two people cross boundaries and borders to come together…images of God crashing into one another…creating mixed up mosaic representations here on earth of the divine.
When we move to those borders or spaces of between we meet people who are strangely familiar…perhaps because they were made in the image of God too…even though they are another identity, orientation, nationality, color or anything else you might call other…and we can both hear in that space a strange voice calling us to get to mixing. That voice is the voice of love…the voice of the originator of mixing…the voice of God. If we are to be the beloved community then we must get to mixing.
Certainly we cannot finish any talk about mixing without talking about those we think are our enemies. If we are children of God, then we are all bone of bone and flesh of flesh of each other. What if we began to see our self in those we hate? What if we started to get all mixed up and love our enemy as our self? What if we followed the example of Jesus and offered grace no matter what the crime? What if we really got to mixing with our enemies? It seems like they wouldn’t be enemies for long…ultimately they would become a part of us and us a part of them. My God think of the possibilities if we just got to mixing.
Jesus was not afraid to mix. Thus is the message of that queer notion of incarnation…when God comes to earth and gets all mixed up in what is going on down here. What does it mean for us to be incarnational? It means for us to be the queer individual that God created us to be…and then to go and start mixing with the other images that all around us…until we reach that community in which all of God’s queers are able to be called and call each other beloved. On this night go to that one and only beautiful light…and get to mixing.
…and all the people shouted…
Delivered at The Queer Church of Dallas