This is my CoH devotional for next week, but I thought I'd go ahead and post it for you guys.
Last Sunday I preached on fear, introducing a Lenten series we are doing here in Oklahoma City entitled “Releasing Fear.” At the end of the sermon I instructed the congregation that for Lent they should give up anxiety, guilt, uncertainty, and fear.
Well, God has a sense of humour. Though very publicly out, I had never had the conversation with my grandfather who lives in a small town in northeastern Oklahoma. On Monday a distant relative called grandpa and said, “It’s on the internet that Scott’s a homosexual” (that wording just sounds so seedy, like they were accusing me of being a porn star or something).
Now I had all sorts of good, rational reasons for why I hadn’t had the conversation with grandpa. Plus, the rest of the family had decided that unless there was an important reason (like me wanting to bring a man home for Christmas), then we’d probably not tell him.
However, the truth was, I was afraid of how he might respond and what the ramifications might be for my family, which has already gone through a lot of turmoil with my coming out.
So, God provided me the opportunity this week to practice what I had just preached. Funny, God.
And, you know, it went well. Amazingly well. Far better than what I ever expected. Grandpa was not happy about my being gay, but he wasn’t angry or dogmatic or unfair. He said lovely words of blessing like “"Any one that knows you and knows the kind of person you are, and loves and cares about you, to them it won't make a difference." Or “When it is in your own family, you have to think differently.” And, most importantly, “I still love you.”
What was I so afraid of?
God of Grace, help us to be people of courage. We need it. Amen.