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

Monday, April 9, 2012

Losing is Pregnant with Chance...

Things have progressed. I'm not clear where they are going, but they are moving with some consistency. The outcome of this movement is I now simply blurt out to people that "I'm more OK today than I was yesterday." I am losing my anger, losing myself, losing me. While this scares me to no end, "losing is" as poet Derrick Brown notes, "pregnant with chance," that is, for me losing myself, losing my dreams, losing my desires can yield eternal rewards, only with the aide of Heaven. Yet, I must lose myself in the vision of God, I must lose myself in the vision of eternity, I must lose myself in Christ. Thus, consistent losing can yield something far better than I can even imagine.

I went on a date Friday night, I met the guy on OkCupid. It was a nice evening. We met for dinner and had a conversation getting to know each other, afterward we went to poetry event. There some poets I've come to admire like Derrick Brown and others who read their poetry. It was there in that cathartic ambiance that it struck me, through the moving words of Derrick Brown and others that being connected and grounded with who I really am is essential for healthy living.

This realization was coupled with an experience I've had of being able to express my anger to God. The first of that anger came several weeks ago, I left church early, as it agitated all the beggarly elements of my soul, but it also presented to me all the things that are empirically found wanting in the church (the informal institutions laced with racism, with sexism, with a conflation of capitalism and spirituality, with homophobia, classism, and general ethnocentrism), but that is something I've come to deal with, yet, I left angry, yet again. I was not sure why.

Certainly I could say it's because I don't understand, or any number of things related to this struggle. While driving back to my apartment I started to pray, "God, Father [tears started to form and fall from my cheeks] I can't do it." At this point, the anger started swelling, I tried to mute that anger in my conversation with God, "Father, please help me, I don't know what to do...damn it (sorry Father)'s just that (damn it), I don't know, I don't know. Why am I this way? Why must I forsake these most natural of desires? Why Lord? Damn it. Damn it. Fuck! Sorry Father." At this point more tears and a scream to let out the anger, and then in a raised voice, "Fuck you God. Fuck you!" At this point I ended my prayer. There was something cathartic, something releasing. I know God understands my anger, He understands why I am angry and can articulate that anger better than I can. He is ever patient waiting for me to understand my anger so I can let it go. Such mercy, such love.

Since then, I've found maintaining sobriety an easier task and more desireable, it's easier to maintain physical intimacy aside from a brief hug, as I sort out my relationship with God.

And so, like Adam, I know I am naked, I know what God is asking of me, and I know He will continue to loving encourage a truthful response, even if that response does not lead to a commitment to His church. Knowing that gives me great comfort.

I am under no illusion that by choosing faith that I will get married, that the pain of the choice I make will dissipate, nor that people will understand (their understanding ends when they mis-perceive "healing" and proximity to the Savior as expressions of faith (the bearing of testimony), service, or activity in church - none of these are reliable indicators of genuine faith. I recognize that choosing faith now is to a very large degree choosing pain the rest of my life, with Christ enabling my capacity to bear that pain each and every day I live. It is this that God knows. It is this that I know, and it is this that my priesthood leaders and other members of the church can't seem to wrap their heads around. Enduring that daily pain with Christ will yield happiness, but that happiness is not cheap, and it's a form of happiness that few understand or can imagine.

And so I assess whether my hiding place from God is sufficient. I don't know. But I do know that God loves me, and that He will continue to love me regardless of my choice. I know He is infinitely patient and merciful. And I know He understands my anger, and the ineffability of the choice before me.

And I thank God for that!

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