Today I am coming out of the closet. No, I am not gay; I am a Christian.
Now, be honest with yourself. When you hear me say those words, what comes to your mind?
Take a moment and listen to those inner voices.
Am I immediately anti-gay, anti-woman, pro-war, anti-environment, pro-capital punishment; a wealthy Republican, perhaps?
Maybe I’m judgmental, self-righteous, pro-gun, arrogant, ignorant… A televangelist with a cheesy grin and dyed slicked back hair, trying to manipulate you into giving me your money?
What are your experiences telling you about me?
I repent of my self-righteousness
I am not that negative stereotype that rests so easily upon your tongue,
I am not that man on the street corner telling you to turn or burn,
I am not that man who struck the Bible on your head like a crow bar.
I repent of my judgment
Instead, I take a humble approach toward seeking truth.
A fellow struggler, a fellow, “I don’t know and you don’t know, so let’s don’t-know together” type, a walking side-by-side with our laughter and tears making up the conversation type.
I repent of my pride
I humbly apologize to all of you who have been brutally abused, haphazardly judged, carelessly discarded, and shamefully disgraced by those who bear Christ’s name.
For I, too, have been one of your spiritual abusers. That is not the Christ I claim to represent.
I was wrong, I am sorry
For the pain and discomfort of always feeling that you are not enough, for feeling less than glorious you.
You are welcome to enter into the embrace of a God who is wild about you.
To rearrange the broken pieces of your heart and hold them softly, to use my words to mend some beaten, tired, and jaded souls.
To be Christian means to be Jesus. Not the blonde haired, blued eyed American we know so well—no–the brown, battered, bruised and calloused Middle Eastern man whose love set off a revolution.
Hear me now and forever more:
You are enough.
You are beautiful and divine.
You are always welcomed and loved.