Last Sunday I talked about courage and our need for a large dose of it if we are going to be capable of the kind of honesty we need to acknowledge our broken places. The recovery community would teach us that the first and hardest step to recovery is acknowledging our need and the fact that we cannot fix ourselves.
We pretend to be smarter than we are because to acknowledge that someone else knows something that we don’t makes us feel inferior to them. We behave as if we know how things are because it gives us a sense of control and power over our lives. It is terrifying to actually acknowledge life’s randomness and chaos. The courage that we need to be vulnerable and transparent exceeds most of our capacities.
One of the Big 10, also known as the commandments, is the prohibition of “bearing false witness.” We rightfully understand this to be a warning of the danger to our souls that comes from saying untrue things about others. It is equally destructive, though, for us to be false witnesses about who we really are down deep inside.
Lesbian and gay people often learn the hard way the price for living false lives. Still, we seem to forget to apply that lesson to the other areas of our lives. We think we can pretend about other things without paying a price. I don’t think that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are more prone to hiding our brokenness than everyone else, but we should be better at coming out about it.
June is celebrated as LGBT Pride month in many parts of the country. Perhaps we need to celebrate it by coming out about who we really are. Only then can God’s grace bring strength and healing to us. Only then can others love us as we really are rather than as we pretend to be.
Courage isn’t having no fear of rejection. Courage is knowing that rejection is possible if people knew the truth about us, but taking the chance and coming out anyway because we know it is the only path to wholeness.
by Michael Piazza
The Center for Progressive Renewal