Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm Coming Out of the Closet

Coming out of the closet :) 
I have been struggling with whether I should come out of the closet about something.  It’s not what you think.  I still love Melissa :).  Seriously, though I have been wondering if I should publicly discuss something that I see happening in my life.  I have grown up in the “church culture” almost all of my life.  I took a brief sabbatical from it for a couple of years, and then took another sabbatical for about 6 months after Melissa and I were married.  In the last 7 years I have had an incredible ride in my spirituality.  I have learned things that I never thought I would ever allow into my brain, much less my heart.  I have also had something very fascinating happen.  I’ve started to become much more comfortable with ME.  I’m more comfortable in my own skin.  And I’m here to tell you that my own skin is NOT the typical “Christian” that most people in church would define “Christian” as.  I really tried hard to fit into that, but I just can’t do it.  And I’m not going to try to do so anymore.  I’m just not.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love God.  I love Jesus.  I love Holy Spirit.  I love family.  I love my family in faith.  I do NOT love the practice of separating from people I don’t agree with.  I do NOT love the inability to be myself because I have to worry about who is going to be offended.  I have learned that offense is just way over rated.  Yes, it’s good to have convictions and beliefs.  It is not good to hammer someone else because theirs aren’t the same as yours.  Those that think they’ve got it all right are just wrong, because I don’t think anyone has it all right.  I’m not saying stand for nothing.  What I say is love everyone because love never fails.  And love isn’t some gushy, push over, emotional garbage.  Sometimes it’s very, very hard.  Sometimes it’s very, very determined.  It’s always very, very powerful.  I’m honestly sick of rules.  I’m sick of “nice.”  I’m sick of “powerless.”  I’m definitely sick of the rhetoric and the Christianese.  I’m most definitely sick of the “cookie cutter” people that congregate in a building and their one thing they have in common is what they stand against.  I am not going to partake in that any more.  I’m going to be myself.  I’m going to hang out at the bar and talk to my good friends there.  I’m going to be like a father to the waiter and the waitress and the bartender.  I’m going to be a father to my own children.  I’m going to speak to everyone whether it be the homeless vagrant, the governor, or the homosexual activist, with honor and respect, and I’m going to treat them the way I want to be treated whether that is returned or not.  I’m going to love myself.  I’m going to forgive myself.  I’m going to do those things because I and my fellow humans are all made in God’s image, and we’re all His kids, though many just don’t get that yet.  They simply need an introduction to the Person.  They don’t need ideas.  They don’t need sermons.  They need an introduction.  And introductions come through people who are real.  They come through those who have Dad’s heart, not through those that know concepts.  I believe that was the secret to Jesus’ appeal.  People saw the Father in Him.  He even said it Himself, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”  That was His appeal.  And since the Father is Love, then the Father is exactly Who people see when we love them.  I don’t get this right all the time.  I don’t get it right 50% of the time probably (and I think that is a generous estimate).  However, I know in my heart of hearts that love is the way.  Religion is not the way.  Concepts are not the way.  Incessant talking is not the way.  Knowing something about God or the Bible is not the way.  Knowing Jesus is the way.  He said that also, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  Want truth?  Know Him.  Want life?  Know Him.  This is my core, and nothing other.  

Not Another
I can't write another poem
Another useless and meaningless meandering conversation of one with one
I can't read another verse
Nor can I hear one more sermon
Quote me another bumper sticker slogan
I might just let the dead bury their own dead
I might just stop asking all these questions and instead
Start releasing all my answers
None of which would ever make it from a pulpit
Many of which would plow your bedrock  bumper sticker slogans
Into fine grains of powdery dust
Leaving both of us coughing and gasping on the floor
You crying out for more
Me feeling the guilt from the lack of clarity, the abundance of confusion
Confusion is what typically comes upon entering worlds of complete unknown
A rattling is what typically comes when new things are shown
There is always quite the rabble
Followed by abundant amounts of ignorant babble
Followed by lynchings and shoutings and cries of “rebel”


I have known each and all of these before and I know them even now
I often ask why these questions have to come across my brow
Yes, and even that is a question
The questions multiply exponentially like rabbits gone mad with fire
The answers they never come at the pace of my desires
Thus I am always writing like this, like a rambling fool
Like one that stares and barely contains his own drool 
I don’t grasp even my own being
Much less the breadth, much less the meanings
Of the universal One

Yet to grasp Him is precisely why I am here
That is precisely why no accusation, no lie, no fear
Can ever seem to stay with me long
There is this unfathomable ocean of Charity’s song
That continues singing out to me
She continues singing out through me
Charity has made all the difference
Judgment has a steady plot that counts the bread and casts the lot
But love is the only thing that never fails
So I look to the stars and I lift my sails
I smell the salt, I feel the breeze
I forget the pains of yesterday with ease
I simply keep moving toward that Northern Star
Where purpose, where meaning, where reconciliation are
I simply keep moving
Blown by these winds that surround me

I am blown by these winds that surround me

K, Duane Carter 4/24/14

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