I am, in no particular order of importance: 44 years old, male, Christian, gay, progressive, Australian citizen, American resident, hopeful, thoughtful, friend, lover, son, busy, funny, intense, joyful, child of God, friend, prodigal, chocolate lover, blogger... and a whole lot more...
I grew up in the north of Australia in a little backwater named Townsville, a lonely kid in an unhappy household in what was then (and apparently still is) a dull town on the dusty backside of an otherwise beautiful country. I always felt different, called a 'fag' long before I had any idea what the word meant. I think I began to realize I was gay around the age of 14, though I struggled with it for years afterward...
I had no idea where my life was going or what was the point of it all until something that happened when I was 16. A chance conversation on a beach led to an invitation to a Christian youth meeting. At the meeting I had an unexpected but powerful encounter with Jesus Christ, and became a Christian.
So many voices in this world claim to speak for God. Often, those voices are so loud it is hard to hear the still, small voice of God that whispers in your ear. In the early years I got caught up in the false gospel of fundamentalism. This is a form of idolatry that exchanges the God of love revealed in Jesus Christ for a false god formed of human prejudice, intolerance and fear. Fortunately for me I came to my senses with the help of some great folks in the local Metropolitan Community Church, part of the predominantly GLBTQ Christian community started by Rev. Troy Perry. At 21 I came out as a gay man, and like so many others moved to Sydney.
I fell in and out of love, was active in church for a while, went to university, dropped out, got a job, fell in and out of love some more, settled down with a partner. Somewhere along the way my faith got smaller. I thought this was part of growing up. But I started to lose my way. Where there is no vision, the people perish, as the scriptures say. I was wasting my life on pointless self indulgence and hurting those I loved.
In 2001 a career opportunity brought me to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The shock of ending a relationship and adjusting to life in a new country at the same time, right on the heels of September 11, really changed me in a number of ways. I stopped languishing, began to think more about what it all meant. Two years ago I met my partner in, of all the unlikeliest places for romance to bloom, an online chat room. We've been together ever since and I have grown to love him madly and deeply. He has taught me a lot about life and love. We were married before God and the church in October, 2005.
And God? God was there all the time, whispering to me (us) in that still, small voice. I've rediscovered my faith, but a deeper faith. Faith in the wonderful, extravagant, unconditional and limitless love of God, and God's grace at work in the world. A faith that can still have doubts. God is a god of the lost sheep, the prodigal sons and daughters, the father and mother of us all. And we're all God's children. I started this blog because I want to share this good news with the world.
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