I’ve been silent for some days. It happens, sorry. Anyway, I should have written this yesterday. I digress…
Happy New Year. Last year, I started a blog. I also learned some stuff. I explored my faith and wrote about my addiction.
I came to a greater understanding of what it means, to me, to be Christian. I can not remove my faith from my attitudes. To me, being Christian has to include respecting that other people have different faiths. It also means that, if someone tells me that they are Christian, I don’t get to tell them that they can not be simply because they don’t march in lockstep with me. *sigh* Yeah, that means that I have to take at face value the validity of the belief some people hold that my LBGT friends and family can not be Christian. I ENTIRELY disagree with that view but, it is their view and not my place to judge.
I started writing and was frustrated that changes aren’t happening as fast as I would desire. I hoped to change things with a post or three. Not only was that something that didn’t happen, it is something that I suppose will never happen. Z explained it to me…sort of. It is that she’s more understanding of the rate of progress. Besides, I came late to the issues. It isn’t my place to be impatient. I tried, like any newbie, to make an immediate impact. I forgot that a real change isn’t an avalanche. It is more like the ocean turning a mountain into a beach. It is one tiny imperceptible bit at a time. In the end, the ocean always wins.
I also found out that there are more Pagans in the world than I ever knew. Because of Aj, I have been introduced to a wide community that I didn’t know existed. I don’t understand the rituals or the details. Don’t really care. I learned that some aspects lineup with a Christian worldview and others don’t. I’m not going to become Pagan, it doesn’t fit me. I no longer question the validity of it, though. I have a huge amount of respect for Aj and, as a result, was open to the fact that her faith is the one that fits her. My former perception of silliness and mysticism has been replaced by a respect for the depth of the faith that the Pagans I know hold. *editorial, I shy away from things that feel like mysticism or emotionalism in matters of faith. It’s my bias toward the way I believe*
Now to the bit about Aj and Z. Because I am allowed to write for them, I had to find out about them.
Aj was and is my “best friend that is not my wife”. I still had to learn things. I had to make an attempt to understand what she believes so that I could take it seriously enough to write for it. I had to read the blogs that others have written. I had to meet members of her community. Interestingly enough, I enjoy them as people. They, in most cases, are far more accepting of differences in faith or life, than most Christians are. They allow me the dignity of my beliefs, even when they disagree with them. They can read my thoughts and give them some weight where a Christian would, typically, writeoff their’s. That’s a failing on our, Christian’s, part. *sigh, I digress* Back to Aj, she is great. Her only real problem is that she lives too far away for her to come visit our house so that my wife and I might be able to feed her. *editorial, cooking for people is what I like to do best*
Z gave me a gift this past year. She gave me her trust. She didn’t just give it in the small things like “here’s my car keys” but, in the big things like “I’ll tell you and you can not repeat it”. To me, possessions are just stuff. Our secrets define our soul. Who we are is what lives inside of us. I try to return her trust with my own. She taught me patience. She also taught me courage. She doesn’t hide herself or her views from anyone. She speaks for those she cares about and stands up for people that have no voice. Do you note a tiny bit of hero worship? Add to those that she loves her kids more than she loves anyone or anything else in the world. That alone speaks volumes. She laid down boundaries before I started writing. She also answered every question I had with no assurance I would not cross those lines. I don’t know why she did. Maybe she saw something in me that gave her some reason. I really don’t know. I wouldn’t cross those lines if I wanted to. She deserves that and more.
For what it’s worth, being Pagan is part of Aj just as being a Lesbian is part of Z. I like them they way they are. I wouldn’t change them if I wanted to.
I guess that covers enough on those ladies except to say that my world is a better place for having them in it.
As to me, because I had to learn about what they face to be able to write for them, I had to read and research. I read blogs and sites. I read words of hate written by strangers. I read words that also said that it is my fault that things are the way they are. *editorial, I AM NOT taking comments personally. The commenters were merely speaking of my demographic middle-aged, straight, married, WASP* As a result, I’ve become more careful in how I expend emotional energy. I have become kinder and more patient. I have become less concerned about opposing views. I have found that there are people that have paths that are different from mine and that doesn’t make them wrong.
I’ll never be either gay or Pagan. That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that those people are given the same dignity and respect that I am given. It isn’t important to be the same in matters of faith or love. It is important that the capacity for both is accorded the same respect. It is important that we are all treated the same in the eyes of the law. It is important that we treat humans as humans. It is a huge thing to realize that, to me, we all have the spark of the Divine in all of us. *editorial, my Pagan and Atheist friends would disagree. grins. So be it*
Last year was a good year. I learned. I hope I taught.
To those of y’all that read these musings, I hope they made a difference. If you needed support, I hope you found some here. If you needed your views changed, maybe I made a difference. If you read and liked my words, thank you for that.
*editorial, There’s a bit way up there about Aj that is sort of repetitive. I’m not going to rewrite it. Sorry*