|AIDS Walk Portland 2013|
Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"This week has been another of those hermit times for me. Questioning my gender identity is not easy. It is not always fun to be outside the norm, to be different than people's expectations and hopes for you. It still stings a little when I remember being called an "odd duck" some years ago. Sometimes, especially when I have more questions than answers, I prefer to stay home and spend time thinking and resting, and retreating into TV cop shows and action movies. My therapist gives me explicit permission for these breaks, and they are both needed and helpful.
In my hermit times, I mostly hang out in my bedroom, which is a comfy oasis. I switched bedrooms a week ago when two of my best friends moved in with me, and my new room now faces east. Today, I awoke to sun streaming into my bedroom. The coming rains in Portland make sunshine precious, and it felt like a gift to wake up to the light this morning.
The sunshine reminded me of a song I love, from the Holden Evening Prayer by Marty Haugen. In the procession, there is a line about Jesus that says "Let your light scatter the darkness, and shine within your people here."
I do believe that the light of love, the light of God, can scatter the darkness in our hearts and in the world. When I remember this, I feel braver about heading out into the world as my own unique, non-conforming self. I look to the light and to God to give me courage and strength so I can go out there and be an advocate and an activist. I want to be the one dressed up in a lion costume holding up signs at AIDS Walk (as pictured above), and not the one hiding in my room.
Even though sometimes I need a hermit break, I am very grateful for the love and support I have in my friends, in my church, and in my facebook community. I do not take this for granted. For many people, coming out or living authentically results in being disowned, kicked out, beaten up... The world is a pretty amazing place, but it is also a place of violence, hatred, negativity, poverty, and destruction.
If you are living in a dark spot, may sunshine and love find their way into your life. If you are living in the light, may you find a way to share that with others. Let's spread love and strength and courage today. Let's shine with love, hospitality, and acceptance so that everyone can live with confidence and joy.
God of light - you are my rock and my salvation. Give me the strength to be the odd duck you created me to be. Help me to share the light of love with others. Be with all who suffer in mind, body, or spirit, and remind them that they are not alone. Thanks, and Amen.