A few evenings in Gayborhood, Philidelphia, Pa

PhiladelphiaÕs ÒgayborhoodÓ is now easily identifiable thanks to rainbow markers that sit below 36 street signs in the neighborhood, which runs from Chestnut to Pine Streets between 11th and Broad Streets.

Philadelphia’s “gayborhood” is now easily identifiable thanks to rainbow markers that sit below 36 street signs in the neighborhood, which runs from Chestnut to Pine Streets between 11th and Broad Streets.

It seems a bit appropriate that I “accidentally” find myself in Gayborhood, as it is called on the map, while attending a conference for work within a week of the historic SCOTUS decision and even as the General Convention debates the marriage ceremony.  I know where my Bishop stands, and though I do not agree I know that in my local parish no matter the GC decision nothing will change.

Before beginning the discernment process I was blissfully unaware of the differences between our diocese and others which I had been a part of growing up.  Polity was for someone else, and while I knew about it I was not fully cognizant of its effects in our regular practice of worship.  I have struggled throughout this process with my personal lines in the sand.  I know I hear God’s call, and I am astounded by the here and nowness of it.  Is it a “God-thing” that I am here, now?

It comes down to this, my marriage is one of the three greatest gifts ever bestowed on me by God (life and salvation being 1 and 2).  The knowledge that my vows were made to Jesus and not to my husband has strengthened bonds that were at times, as in most marriages, strained by the travails of life.  In my private prayer life, God and I commune over this gift on a regular basis.  I cannot fathom a God who would grant this gift to me, little ol’ me, and deny it to others.  By bonding me with my husband God has strengthened me beyond measure, provided a companion and helpmate who is utterly irreplaceable.

I am trying to imagine a life where I was denied this blessing, and I cannot.  It makes me weep to think of denying this to anyone wishing to vow to God to care for their partner, become one with their needs, and weather the storms of life.

As I walked the streets of this neighborhood, I saw men and women, straight and gay, who are the creation of He who strengthens and comforts us all.  I saw God’s love in their existence, felt his comfort, and attempted to embody Him in my actions, thoughts and words.

Tonight I pray to God for clarity of the hearts of the houses of Bishops and Deputies.   May the thoughts of their hearts and the words of their lips be pleasing in your sight, Oh God, my strength and my redeemer.

Amen.

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