Saturday, April 23, 2011

Come out! - On having lived in a foreign country

In talking with a friend about my journey (years of living the life I thought I was supposed to have, marriage, children, suburbia, etc.) he said to me, "Oh, so you really know what it's like to live in a foreign country."

Of late, I am living more and more into being Out.  Having sojourned in a different land (in which I convince myself that I am a sorely mixed-up straight boy who just needs to get over this desire to rub up on some hairy men) I have come to discover that I've been speaking a strange dialect that I've never quite mastered.  Now, I am learning to return to my native tongue - and it is coming back to me, so to speak.  {Now look, I know the previous sentence may seem to be full of double entendres.  I didn't mean it that way; or did I?}

The gospel lesson a few Sundays ago was the story of the raising of Lazarus.  It is not lost on me what Jesus says "in a loud voice:"  Lazarus, come out!

Yes, there you have it.  Jesus himself commands us to come out.  Ha!  Tell that one to Fred Phelps.  (Don't bother; he wouldn't get it anyway).

When, in fact, Lazarus does come forth, he is bound up with all the burial clothes.  He is bound up, dressed for death.  But now, Lazarus is given another chance.  Jesus does not remove the wrappings. He gives other instructions: Jesus tells the family and friends gathered (their mourning put on hold for some other occasion) to "unbind him and let him go."  Jesus may raise the dead, but it takes the whole community to unbind him.  It takes a village to help him come out.

It certainly does.

Thank you all.  Chris & Simon, James, Jeffrey & Jeff, Rich, Sean & Jeffrey,  John+ & John, Guy, Jack, Joe, Jane, Mahan-Dan-Liz-Miles, Porter, Bob, Dr. Ur-Spo, Wayne, RG, Benji, Raven~, Troll, Dave, Betty, Birdie, Michael, Bigg, Larry & Greg, Merritt, Paul,  Gregory, Michael, Mark, Austin-Rob-Michael-Mickey-Joel, Richard, Migs, Harry,  . . . . . . . . . . . .and so very many more.  thank you.

It's nearly Easter, but resurrection seems to be lagging a bit, for me. (Maybe I need some res-erection.  Sorry).
I am so looking forward to next week, and some time away!  It won't be far away, and comes only through the gift of a local establishment given for the health and well-being of folk in my weird job rather strange vocation.

Come out!


DeepBlue said...

Great post! And thanks for pointing me out about Lazarus. I had never seen it that way before. lol.

The Favorite Things Guy said...

Very well said!

Ur-spo said...

and then, the Great Work begins !

Buddy Bear said...

I'm glad you're back! When you said, "I am living more and more into being Out", it seems to me that the journey out never really ends.

Birdie said...

It feels like you are breathing in deep and strong. Welcome to your homeland.

BentonQuest said...

I am glad you are able to get away. Especially after this time of the year, time away is a good thing. Relax and restore. And come on out!! This is where all the fun people are!

manxxman said...

Life is a work in you well're doing a wonderful job on your own, keep up the good work.

JC said...

I really love this post, maybe it's the innuendos and double entendres,
regardless, I hope you can find some pleasing things to rub together during your get away.

Anonymous said...

Just love, buddy.

A Troll At Sea said...


Hang in there!

The Naz' response to Martha's avowed belief in "the resurrection at the last day" is to raise Lazarus. To me, the "point" of the Lazarus story, as of so much in the Gospel of John, is that the resurrection and the life is NOW. That goes for us, too.

Well, you know my song.
Thanks for listing me...


behrmark said...

I am covered with shame, having missed this wonderful, soul-touching, life-affirming, loving post.
Better late to the party than not to attend at all. Isn't that the essence of the prodigal son?
But we're talking Lazarus, here.
What a phenomenal interpretation of the Scriptures. It feels....right. And that is the beauty of God...and His has the power to speak to so many on so many different levels of understanding.
Thank you, Joe, for this message. It came at a much needed moment.
Behr Hugs

Birdie said...

I saw this article about a book called Finally Out and thought of you.

JC said...

I wish that I lived closer to you and could listen to one of your Sunday Sermons...
I do like reading your posts.

Bryan said...

Well said. It takes a village, indeed.

It sounds like you have a pretty unique perspective on what it means to be both gay and Christian. FYI - I'm dreaming of building a program to help gay kids (and college students… and probably adults) find a way to reconcile their sexuality and their spirituality - basically to help them understand that they can have both God and gay.

So, a few weeks ago, I started a blog that will (hopefully) serve as a starting place for the program. At some point in the near future, I want to have gay folks share their story of how they figured out (or are figuring out) how to be both gay and Christian at the same time. You have a great style and a unique voice… maybe you’d like to contribute?

Check out the blog and let me know what you think. Maybe we can find a way to work together…