The other day I was chatting with some friends about the topic of LGBT+ people serving in ministry roles within the church, both on a volunteer level and in a leadership-type role, and of course that got me thinking about my own personal ministry roles and experiences. Almost all of my ministry experience came from the time when I was still closeted, only out to a handful of people; the only ministry experience I have since coming out is my role with LOVEboldly.
John Backman is a guest writer whose voice we’re honored to share. You can read more about John in his bio at the end of the piece.
You never expect one comment to upend your whole life.
It happened to me last month in a conversation with a wise elder. I was describing my ideal approach to spiritual direction—to all my human interactions, really—in which I am so locked into the other person that I forget about myself. My wise friend agreed the ideal was pretty good as far as it went.
Then, in a voice so soft I could barely hear it, she dropped the question: “Where is John in all this?”
My conscious mind drew a blank. My unconscious mind saw it for what it was: a golden opportunity to unload decades of repressed schmutz.
Some of the most treacherous stretches of road to drive in winter span between Chicago and West Michigan. Lake effect snow is unpredictable and can quickly turn from light falling flakes into a blizzard.
A number of years ago, I journeyed from Chicagoland to Grand Rapids to return home for the holidays. By all accounts it was to be a gray day, nothing more. As I reached the Indiana border, however, it started to sleet and freeze. I discovered then that my wiper fluid was frozen and I couldn’t easily clear my windshield without the assistance of semi-trucks splashing significant moisture on the front of my car. My field of vision shrank to a small square immediately above my dashboard.
So I hunkered down and drove on.