Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love that is "sexual orientation and gender identity"-blind

I realize many in the trans community not only do not believe in God or Christ but even more importantly, have been hurt, shunned, humiliated, dehumanized, etc....by so-called Christians. I am one of those people despite my sustaining beliefs.

That being said, there are those of us who still believe and realize that Jesus loves everybody, despite sexual orientation or gender identity. I really found the following dream/testimony/writeup inspiring and it made me cry. So with the permission of the author, I am sharing it with you all.

Update! Lance (the author of the quoted text below) has an official interview on Gender Identity Magazine Online!


"Meeting Jesus"
I'm sauntering through my local mall one day. I'm minding my own business. My mind teeters somewhere between being consumed by my own thoughts and what's going on around me. I alert to some excitement stirring nearby, and sense an electricity rising in the air. My curiosity gets the better of me, so I move closer to see what is going on.

"Jesus is here!"
"Here? Now?"
"Yeah! Down the escalator in the main floor open area! He wants us to come on over and get to know Him!"

WOW! Jesus is here! I quickly do a spot check on my clothes, and nervously make sure my hair looks okay in a window reflection, and head in the direction I was pointed in.

I'm on the second floor when I look over the railing to the area indicated below, and am surprised by what I see. There is already a huge crowd surrounding Him! There are mothers with young children gathering around, there are people of every age, nationality and economic status crowding in as well. The press of the crowd is amazing! But I notice that whoever Jesus is talking to obviously feels loved and special as if they are the only ones in the room at that moment. From my vantage point I can see the way He connects with them, the way He looks at them, the way He LOVES them. It's undeniable and amazing!

I leave my perch and quickly make for the escalator. I don't even wait for the stairs to move me down, I jog down them, and by the time I reach the bottom I'm running. I approach the back of the crowd and notice now that I'm no longer on the second floor, I can no longer see past the crowd of people as they desperately try to get close to Him.

I press in, jump and stretch to try and see. I finally start working my way around the crowd to find a place to squeeze in. I finally find and area where there seems to be a little more organization, and figure "Hey! This will work!"

I see smiling the faces of those that are helping organize the crowd, and anxiously wait my turn! My stomach is in knots, I'm going to meet JESUS!!

It seems like forever but I know the wait will be worth it, so I stand in my spot slowly inching forward as time means nothing to me anymore. ALL I want now it to be close to Him…to have Him love on me the same way I observed He did the others when I was watching from upstairs.

I'm getting close now…I can see glimpses of Him through the crowd. Suddenly a smiling man approaches me. Ah! One of the crowd control guys! Wait…his expression is changing. He scrutinizes me head to toe. He stops directly in front of me and I can no longer see Jesus . I'm not sure what's up, but the more he looks at me the more his countenance changes to one of stern resolution.

"You're here to see Jesus?"
"Yes sir…"
"You're a female.."
"Huh?"
"Why are you trying to look like a male?"

His face gets more stern with each question. I feel my face growing hot and red. Suddenly it FEELS like every eye is on me. I glance around, the scene hasn't changed much..only a couple of people are noticing the exchange and I gulp back thankful tears that no one else really has noticed as much as I thought. I try to raise on my tiptoes to look at Jesus again, but Stern-Face-Man shifts his position and once again blocks my view.

"Do you like boys or girls?"
"Girls, sir..I always ha….."
"Then I'm afraid you can't approach Jesus. You know you'd be MUCH better suited to see Him if you took care of a few things first!" He raises an eyebrow that leaves no doubt as to what he is referring to, and that he will not give me clearance until I do those "things".

I stand there as if slapped. He stands there like a stone. I know I am whipped. I swallow and slowly turn around. I start to walk away. My heart is broken and I feel as though I will be ill…Jesus doesn't want to see me…this man had conveyed that to me very clearly.

What I did NOT (COULD not) see during the whole exchange, was beautiful Jesus. His head had snapped up from what He was doing and was staring intently in our direction. I didn't (couldn't) see Him looking right at the back of Stern-Face's head as he grilled me down. As I was walking away I didn't see Stern-Face turn around to Jesus to give Him the thumbs up for sending me away, and I DIDN'T see the tears in Jesus' eyes and the sad shake of His head as He looked back at Stern-Face.

My stomach felt as if I had been kicked. Suddenly as I was trying not to break down and was wiping my eyes on my sleeve, the entire mall went silent…I stopped, looked up with cry-reddened eyes, and noticed that everything was still moving around me. Life was going on, but I could hear nothing…

Suddenly a booming voice peals through the air. A voice that shook me to my shoes! "LANCE!" I whirl around and see Jesus standing up! He must be standing on something because I can see Him past and above the crowd, and He is looking at me with the most love filled eyes I have seen! "LANCE!!" I glance around and no one seems to be noticing this exchange…this is personal between me and Him! "LANCE!!!" It is loving and….desperate? As if my walking away would absolutely break His heart! Our eyes locked, and suddenly it was like we were the only two in the place. He glances at Stern-Face (who was oblivious and was scanning the crowd like a hawk) and looks back at me with tear filled eyes, and suddenly throws His arms open wide!

In that moment, I KNOW I HAVE to get to Him! I start running towards Him and encounter the crowd. I am sobbing by this time, but not with the pain from before, but with the love that is erupting inside me for and from Jesus. I start pushing my way through and BAM! I run into a brick wall, I glance up to see I have run right back into Stern-Face and realize he has moved SWIFTLY to block my path when he saw me returning. A new wave of fear shoots through me, but this time I glance past his head and can see Jesus still elevated and looking straight into my eyes. The love in His eye pierce me to the core, and His arms are still open to me. Strength pours through me when I realize that THIS time I can see Jesus' eyes, and NOT only that of Stern-Face blocking my view like last time This gives me the strength to look at Stern-Face with a new expression; no fear, no shame, only a KNOWING. a determination and a resolve that I want Jesus as much as I now KNOW He wants me.

I lock my gaze back on my Master, and shoulder my way past Stern-Face, and anyone else that might share his views. I no longer see them…I no longer hear them, I am going to get to Jesus.

I reach the inner edge of the crowd and Jesus jumps down from where He is standing and runs to meet me as I rush to Him. He grabs me in an embrace that erases ALL doubt about how He feels about me. I fear the end of the embrace, but realize that Jesus will hold me as long as I need Him to. After what seems like forever I relax and pull back just enough to look at His face. His eyes of love and compassion are staring straight into mine.

What I don't see is Stern-Face smugly standing back waiting for Jesus to go down the rule-list with me. I notice Jesus glance his direction, then look back and smile at me. I realize I want to do anything this man asks me. His love is so intense I am ready for what He asks of me. I don't know how I will do it..but I am willing.

He leans in, holds me tight and whispers in my ear…"Believe in Me...follow Me…seek Me." I hold Him tight waiting for the rest. Waiting…waiting. Finally I pull back with a puzzled look.

"What else Jesus?"
"That's it!"
"That's it? But he said…" (I'm pointing at Stern-Face)
"Don't worry about what He said. 'I' will change the things in you that 'I' see need changing in you. You just stay close to me and build a relationship with me…know my voice."
"But what about my clothes…my haircut…my chosen name?"
"What about them? I'm looking at your heart!"
"But I like girls! I ALWAYS have!"
*With a slight chuckle* "WOW! Like I didn't KNOW that all this time?"

Then He holds my back a little so He can squarely look me in the eyes:

"I knew you before I even formed you. I knew who you were and what made you tick. I have watched you try to struggle past "Stern-Faces" your entire life while trying to get to me, even when you didn't even realize it. I saw every time you walked away broken hearted because of the pain of people talking FOR me. I LOVE you…I always have..and I will continue to love you. I died for YOU! Not your clothes, your haircut or anything else! You just stick close to me and 'I' will take care of what needs to be taken care of."

With that, He gathered me back in His arms, and I realize that nothing, NO ONE will be able to tear me down again…I finally met the Master, and I'll never be the same again!

Author's Note:

Those that know me know that I think in situations and pictures. This story is a pretty basic story-style rundown of my return to Jesus. It has been a four year journey, loving, seeking and getting to know Him. He has delivered me from behaviors and habits. He has given me a will to live. He has delivered me from the demons of self harm that taunted me. So many things He has changed in my life since the day I turned myself over to Him. He has given me a desire for His word and a love for Him I never had before…but He hasn't UN-transgendered me…imagine that! Sorry Stern-Faces…you lose. :)

Lance/Lisa

6 comments:

chrissy31947 said...

{tears}

Jennifer said...

THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!!! Its been a hard day, and that reminder of God's love is just what I needed! Def crying!
I'm in the same, transitioning-but-keeping-faith-despite-the-slights kinda boat. Your positive outlook is a wonderful encouragement and example to your sisters in Christ.

Jen said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. It really touched my heart. I left church when I started transition, two years ago, because I was afraid of being judged. When I went back this past Christmas, one of the ladies there who I had known before, came over and put her hand on my shoulder and said we've missed you. God's love and character shined through her, and I won't ever be the same. I will treasure Lance's closing line for a very long time...there are some things God doesn't need to change.

JAY said...

1 Corinthians 11:3–15

Debra said...

I'm glad it touched some people because it really touched me as well.

@Jamiegottagun - Not sure what you're getting at. It's hard to tell what anybody's getting at when they simply post a verse and don't explain....

Ariel said...

I have no idea what that passage from 1 Cor has to do with what you posted, but it's interesting that it's a passage that many scholars say is a later interpolation, not authentically Pauline, because Paul's other writings don't consider women that way.

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