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Turning Shitheads into Prayer Partners

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shithead

 

I woke up one morning last week and this message was posted on the wall of one of our church Facebook pages, “This church is the sickest of sick.  The evilest of evil.  The vilest of vile.”  I deleted the comment like I do to all other queerphobic comments that are sent to us.  Later in the morning, I had a conversation with someone I had not spoken with in some time and she quickly became enraged when she found out that I was leading what is in her words an “anti-Christ” church that was inclusive and celebrating of all people including again in her words “queers and faggots.”  Most of the time I am able to put all of these disturbing and hateful queerphobic comments behind me and concentrate on the ministry God has called me to…but this day was different.  The queerphobia was up under my skin.  I felt like these two people were shitheads and I kept calling them exactly that.  Whether I knew it or not, I was growing angrier as every minute passed.

 

Later on in the day…while I was driving back from Dallas…someone cut me off in traffic and in a moment of full on rage…I thrust my middle finger as far as I could out the window and repeatedly screamed shithead at the driver.  When I returned to the inside of the car, I didn’t like what was happening to me.  I pulled over and began to think about my day.  It did not take long to realize how much I had been affected not just by the queerphobia I had experienced earlier…but by all the queerphobia our churches and I have experienced.  I began to weep…as it had been somewhat of an emotional day.  I realized I hadn’t prayed in a while and I closed my eyes.

 

I prayed for love.  I prayed for God to bring all those I called shithead alongside me.  I prayed for God to forgive me for failing to love.  I prayed for God to forgive me for the times that I have been a shithead.  I prayed for a renewed love for my enemies and my neighbors alike.  I prayed for a renewed commitment to dialogue and conversation with those whose hearts are filled with queerphobia and hate.  I prayed for further clarity or revelation of what I had experienced…and in that moment I realized that those I called shithead had brought me to a deeper understanding of both God and love… and now they were no longer shitheads but prayer partners…and even more than that…I realized they helped grow my heart wider with love.

 

Amen.

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