I know the title is weird but bear with me.
In high school I wrote a poem on the plane from Lima to Cuzco about being a periwinkle particle in the grey abode between ying and yang. It was about being queer. It manifested a lot of the gender insecurity I had that time that never took a transgender direction, and I am glad I was going through that a little bit before now because the juggernaut transgender ideology can be merciless to those who lack gender security. That’s another story so I will leave it be.
The grey abode, it felt like that. The line between ying and yang is just a line, its not a great abode but it was foggy and dim and I couldn’t see beyond it nor could I see many around me in that season of life. God eventually asked me to repent of this identity. It was one of the “false visages of the ego” I wrote about earlier. It was not just rooted in insecurity but also pride. I am not either or but somehow I can transcend them both and be some thing greater. “I will ascend to the heavens,” said Lucifer of old. He would not stay in the station allotted to him. But the Lord has given me a good station. “Male and female he created them.” And, “He has set my boundaries in good places.” Once the Lord told me, “It is written all over your body that you are a man.”
I am very grateful for this. This was good news. Through it, I could find the courage to “man up.” And although that can have a ring of “toxic masculinity it,” and it can go in that direction, I don’t mean it that way. I don’t mean it in the stuff your emotions in your boot and move on kind of rugged individualistic pseudo-stoicism that is a toxic form of masculinity. But I mean it in the sense of rising to the challenge, proving myself on the grand stage, not isolated, but under the loving presence and affirmation of my Father. The deep boyhood longings that were always there could begin to find fulfillment in real life instead of fantasy land. I am still in the unfurling of that journey.
This growth in gender security is what I am most grateful for in my various stints at reparative therapy. But I didn’t come out heterosexual. Oh well. Lol. God still has plans for me. I have more clarity about my own manhood and masculine call and am grateful for that. But now that I have unpacked the context of my metaphor I want to employ it some.
A periwinkle particle between ying and yang. Not one or the other. Eclectic. Not having my own clique, belonging in many but belonging in non. Growing up Lutheran and Pentecostal but belonging to both and neither. Growing up in a broken family (read two families) and belonging to both and neither. I am in process to grow in belonging in my own families of origin and that has been a feat living most of my adult life half way across the planet. Then,,, being queer and growing up in church…
I have tears, and tears, and tears that could probably picture what trying to belong has been like. I am still struggling with that. And all the deconstructionists be like what is the church really. Well, this much I think we can all agree on, the Church is the People of God. Sometimes those people suck but everyone of them is valuable and cherished by God so much that he sent his Son to die for them.
I must tread careful lest I, in reaction, think I can undo all of that and therefore crucify the Son of God all over again and subject him to public disgrace.
Factor 1) the struggle to belong b/c of upbringing
Factor 2) the struggle to belong b/c of queer experience
Factor 3) the struggle to belong b/c of personality and temperament (quimsical and having wide curiosity)
Factor 4) the struggle to belong b/c of becoming virtually third culture by living most of my adult life outside my home country
So, like a periwinkle particle floating in the grey abode between ying and yang, I can relate to Andy Raine’s words, yet again:
INTEGRITY means not separated or even distinct. This may be a pride issue for outliers who define themselves as standing apart from the crowd. But then YOUR crowd, your TRIBE, may unexpectedly feel like a natural fit: I was made for this time, this moment, this people. It is quietly a moment of destiny. It was worth having been born just to have this happen.Andy Raine
So Jesus is continuing this work of integration. I am not separate from my own gender. Okay, that was good news. I am not separate from my family. I am not separate from that body of sinners called the human race, nor the hospital that ministrates them unto sainthood.
I want a moment for this right now. I just want to repent of all of the pride that says, I am apart in any way that I have decided to be apart. God is the one who sanctifies. He sets us apart. But when I do that I am playing God’s role. No oh baby, I cannot do that.
And so as I approach the end of this new year, I examine my heart and I repent. Others may connect with this and I invite you to repent. Jesus is waiting for you.
(Up and coming, writing about factors of being an outlier or my crowd/tribe, and or more repentance stuff).