There’s a lot to consider when you’re moving across the country. The only thing left for me to figure out before I drove 1000 miles away to the great city of Seattle, was where I was going to go to church. Now, church shopping is always stressful (I know, I’ve done it at least four separate times), but church shopping as a gay dude is a lot more stressful. Church shopping as a gay dude who isn’t big into the LGBT scene and is very particular about denominations…? Forget it.
Here’s what I mean: there’s a million sites on how to find an LGBT friendly church, but I’ve found these churches tend to be too LGBT friendly (at least for me). When you log onto their site the first thing you see is a giant rainbow flag and capitol letters that say GAYS WELCOME. The ones that are a bit more quiet about it tend to be denominations I am not. Basically, I was looking for a church I would normally go to, but who won’t be all weird about it if I happen to bring a boyfriend. Tricky.
So I changed my approach, and found a regular old normal (possibly hetero-normative) church I actually really liked. Then came the part of trying to decipher whether I should wait and see what happened when I got there, ask now, or pursue some other mean. I decided to ask now because, for whatever reason (I’d realize later it was the Holy Spirit – duh), I was really drawn to this church. I sent an email and eagerly awaited a response.
They got back to me and said they’d love to have me! I was revealed to say the least (like I said, I really felt led there). But that’s not the cool part of the story; the best was yet to come.
I helped a friend who lives way out east move the other day. Elated that I had finally chose a church after months of searching, I decided to go back and listen to a sermon on my drive out. I chose randomly (or so I thought) a message from few weeks back. We’re in Acts, talking about the apostles, and the message I chose dealt with the gospel spreading to Samaria. The pastor’s point was that, for the Jews, it was one thing to be joyful the Samaritans were receiving the gospel, and another to actually understand that the Samaritans, these dirty and incredibly culturally different people, were now their brothers and sisters.
He ended the message by calling on the people of the church to be careful in who they themselves were restricting access to the gospel. Then, he prayed that they as a church building, would prayerfully consider who they themselves were restricting access to.
Here’s the truth: God cares so deeply about each and every one of us. He is for us when we are scared. He’s here for us when we’re celebrating. If you’re in need of some encouragement today, know that the God who spoke light into darkness is speaking love into your life right now. He’s got you; Trust in Him.