Monday, December 3, 2007

Can you believe it?

One of my responsibilities as a counselor in the bishopric is counting the tithing receipts. Yesterday, the financial clerk and I were concluding this task and were at the point in the process where we were just printing reports and sending the financial data to SLC (via modem). While we were waiting for it to complete, we were chatting.

I don't even remember how the topic came up; but, he started telling me about an email he recently received from a friend of his. It seems this friend, while attending college, had an institute director for whom he had a great deal of respect. The man was, evidently, a spiritual giant and a scriptorian. But, his friend had just learned that this man had since divorced his wife and had left the church - because he was gay.

"Can you believe it?" he kept repeating. "Can you believe there are people 'like that' in the church?"

I wanted to tell him that yes, I could believe it.

I wanted to tell him that my heart went out for that brother and his former wife.

I wanted to tell him that we shouldn't judge him - that we just can't understand what he has probably been going through his entire life.

I wanted to tell him that there were more people 'like that' in the church than he realizes.

I wanted to tell him that I was one of 'those people'.

But I didn't say any of that. I just nodded my head - like I always do.

Why do I feel like such a recreant right now?


Silus Grok said...

It's not easy speaking-up for the underdog — especially when you feel akin to the maligned party.

But you can go back. You can say something.

Beck said...

Good to see you posting again! This is a good thing, if not for you, then at least it is good for me. It lifts my spirits.

After my discussions with a brother in church after "the lesson" in Priesthood in September, I have decided that I will NOT allow such conversations as yours to be reduced to a head knod. I am going to speak out...

Now, all that remains to be seen is proving my resolve when the opportunity presents itself.

I'm with you brother.

One of So Many said...

So many conversations, so many times you just nod and nervous laugh rather than let anyone think you are in the same situations as someone like that.

I'm getting tired of that in so many of these situations. I think I too am about at the point of speaking up to that.

I think I will start with coming out to ALL of my family this Christmas...

playasinmar said...

Welcome back, recreant! We missed you.

santorio said...

the problem i have is that i'm not quick enough to think of the perfect reply before the subject moves on, like last sunday when someone joked about the pseudo nobel prize won by al gore.

i think i need to rehearse replies to common scenarios, so that i have a ready response.

GeckoMan said...

Welcome back, Abe.

Okay, so as you've reflected on the conversation you list most of the pertinent points to reconsider the humanness of this brother and his family. I think that's what we need to remind others of: that we're family, sons and daughters of a loving Father, and the Lord calls us to love and reach out, not to judge or condemn. Its when we get past the easy answers and the head nodding, and we ask deeper questions of ourselves and others that we open the path of understanding.

epadavito said...

I heard a conversation once in my singles ward foyer, sitting on the couches, a couple guys were talking about how he was wearing a pink tie, yada yada, and they eventually said gay guys in the church hide by having girlfriends - and I totally should have said something - but just walked away....sometimes I really wish I did - say like -they tend to hide because of people like you! or something- but anyway...maybe your conversation is preparing you for another one that will make a bigger impact.