For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes...

Well I guess the guy is not quite a babe in both the colloquial and scriptural sense, but nonetheless the sentiment is apropos.

Last week I had tea/coffee with a guy I met on campus. We met up at a coffee shop, he's 24 and a Philosophy major, we talked a bit about Kant and our misgivings and then confessed our fascination, admiration, envy, and love for the man. The categorical and hypothetical imperatives are wonderful topics for great conversation. Anyhow, we met at the coffee shop and we talked about a host of things.

We got to know each other - it felt oddly like a date. Meeting someone for the first time and asking questions to get the to know the other. Jokes, nervousness and flirtatious commentary was sprinkled throughout the conversation - turns out I'm quite oblivious to these well accepted dating ques.

Anyhow, we got on the topic of me being Mormon, being gay and the process of coming out. He came out to his parent in High School and then to paraphrase or rather quote him "When I got to college, I went wild and explored..." He then said something interesting, "After I explored, it got boring. I was done with that and now just looking for something more than that....though don't get me wrong that is great, but I'm looking for something more." I was relieved. Here was a guy who understood me, he understood implicitly the struggle, the sense of a loss of safety, a loss of a sense of place, a loss of a sense of belonging. Then more importantly he understood how I then stood at the doorway to a new life - starting at a foreign world. A world that will be changed, how I interact in it, how I interact with others will now be very different because of who I am accepting I am and how I see myself. I felt at home, I felt comfortable. He was 24. I'm 33 and have sought for this sort of deep understanding - it seemed to be elusive.

I sought out some understanding from my Bishop and Stake President and found nothing, I sought it from friends, again found nothing, I sought it from family, and there was fragmented understanding, I sought it from people in my Addiction groups, again it was elusive.

Yet, here was a 24 year old kid, wise beyond his years, nervous, flirting, but able to see me in a completely vulnerable space and simply acknowledge it and say it will get better.

I felt, in a word, safe.

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