TW: internalized religious homophobia
I never see God’s affirmation of me as clearly as I do when I am looking at my LGBTQ siblings. A litany of fear-based questions met with answers of condemnation drowns out my faith, but when my thoughts turn to my siblings it is silenced. No one can deny the Spirit of God that is living in them, no matter how hard they thump the clobber passages. One of these days I will also be able to see myself through God’s affirmation. Until then…
Some days I feel firm and grounded in Your love,
An affirmation of Your image and thus affirmed by Your words: “It is good”.
On those days I feel called in Your Name, YAHWEH,
To stoke Your love and justice by burning down my closet.
On those days I feel guided by Your Name, YAHWEH,
to choose to let my sexuality orient me toward the margins.
On those days I feel convicted by Your Name, YAHWEH,
To come out to those who know me for an increased chance of their conversion.
On those days I am living Your Ghost,
By obeying Your commandment to:
“Render to all what is due them, and pay fully the debt which you owe.
And you have seen that no amount of your blood is enough for you to make atonement.
But you have seen that, in Jesus, I have bruised My Own Ghost,
And you have seen that, by dying for you, I am loving My Own Ghost.
So go, be fruitful in the Spirit, and don’t count the cost”
Love YAHWEH with all of yourself by loving your neighbor reflexively:
By using violence to protect people oppressed with the selflessness of antifascists,
And by using tenderness to reach out to your own oppressor, surrendering all vengeance to Me.
By loving all with no regard to race, gender, orientation, and ability,
And by giving all regard to these differences in order to love one another fully.
You owe nothing less than to love.”
On those days I can hear you in our midst,
Singing over us with joy and exaltation, and resting in Your love for us, saying:
“We have made humans in Our image:
Every race and tongue and origin, male and female and intersex,
From transgender through cisgender and enby, gay through bi through straight and ace, every
Spectrum of Our Being is represented in them collectively,
And they are good.”
On other days I feel drained of Your presence,
Hollow, as though the widening of hell’s mouth has entered me,
Convinced of my death by the words: “I never knew you”.
On those days I am chaotic with doubt,
And certain of my fear that I have never known You.
On those days I do not feel called in Your Name, YAHWEH,
Not even to come and meet You for the first time.
On those days I feel like a vain expression of Your Name, YAHWEH,
And a stumbling block to everyone around me whom You are calling.
Uncalled, a clanging cymbal, useless to those who are truly oppressed.
I feel empty of Your ghost and devoid of any worth
Unless, I obey Your commandments to:
“Lose your own life for My sake.
If your ears threaten to be the start of your attraction to another woman,
Take up My nails and perforate the membranes.
It is better for you to enter into My presence deaf,
Than to have the ability to hear and be thrown by Me into hell.
And if your heart threatens to hold love for another woman,
Crucify it with conversion and conformity and suppression.
It is better for you to enter into My presence depressed and suicidal,
Than for you to be well and be thrown by Me into hell.
And if any part of your somatic existence threatens to give you no choice,
Give up your ghost and abandon yourself.
It is better for you to enter into My presence stripped of your identity,
Than to be fully yourself and be thrown by Me into hell.”
On those days I feel a vacuum in my midst,
Suckling on all my anxious thoughts, and compressing me with apathy.
If You want me changed, then remake me in Your image.
But I refuse to love a God Who rejects me and my siblings.
Would not a loving God, as such, command such a refusal?
If You affirm me, please, come reassure me with Your presence.
Without you I am pointless, a ghost wasting Your precious breath.
I am only able to see Your affirmation when looking at my siblings.
Even when spilled by the fruits of hatred, their precious blood has not been wasted.
Their murder is a blasphemy to Your Holy Spirit, and You are burning with their vengeance in Your bones,
So, since You are a loving God, I want to be living Your Ghost, to death.
Ghosts in my Closet, Feeling in my Bones
TW: internalized religious homophobia