Loving from the bottom of the heap – A gay Christian reading for Christmas

At a carol service last Sunday, hosted by Open Table, an LGBT Christian community in Liverpool, I read one of the readings, which I found moving, inspiring and too good not to share:

The most powerful place from which to renew the face of the earth is the bottom of the heap.

I often think of the motley crew of gay and lesbian Christian refugees I hang out with as a remnant, as our Jewish forebears in the desert were a remnant. Banished from Egypt with no sure home to go to, with no societal myth to hide behind, they too were thrust down to their spiritual roots. And in that desolate place, they glimpsed in an incredibly powerful way the unity of God.

The alternative to trying to force our way back into the myth is to embrace our exile. Not passively. Not with resignation. But with vigour and passion. Drinking deeply from the cup we have been passed as an oppressed people, seeing it as an opportunity both for profound spiritual deepening and for being empowered to do some very holy work in an especially potent way.

And what is that work? Just to love. And in our case, frequently enough, to love anyway. To give when nobody wants our gifts. To be present when many would like us to go away. To speak our pain when most would rather ignore it. We are called be. To be fully who we are. In the moment. In the world. That is loving.

John Fortunato, AIDS: the spiritual dilemma

This Christmas, this New Year, let’s commit to loving anyway.

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