4/29/2010

A Prayer Answered

I have a couple of co-workers that I've been eating lunch with almost everyday for the last few months. We've gotten to know each other pretty well, and we definitely pick on each other and joke around a lot.

We're actually a motley lot. It's me, the white lesbian, and two black women, one older and the other just a tad older than me. The older woman is strongly religious and has no problem saying so. In fact, she's seeking ordination in her church as a preacher. She's been denied ordination before because she speaks what comes from her spirit not from doctrine.

The two of us obviously have our disagreements on many matters, yet I also think we're oddly respectful and appreciative of the differing views. I'm not sure exactly how she views me as a lesbian, and I'm not sure I want to know. Sometimes when you like a person, it's better not to know some things, especially if it can hurt your feelings.

Anyway, this woman and I have some spirited discussions on religion. One day I was particularly disgruntled with the human race and feeling awfully pessimistic. For a while, I was debating de-friending probably 75% of the people I knew on Facebook just because I was tired of the falseness and insensitivity of others. There was a point where I used to tell myself that everyone was in my life for a reason. I felt I was born into a highly conservative Southern Baptist family for a reason. Part of me thought that certainly it had to be to open people's eyes and hearts to difference and hopefullly help them grow to be more tolerant and accepting. That was on a good day. But the day I was talking to this co-worker, it was a bad day. I said, "What's the point?"

This woman does a lot of work with convicted felons, and she told me how she went through a period of time similar and she asked God to take a certain group of people she was working with out of her life (if I recall correctly, it was rapists). She wasn't careful in what she asked. God did take them from her life and in place of them, she now works with pedophiles. Yeah...exactly! From the frying pan into the fire. But she's working with a group she never would have willingly worked with before and the ones that most people can't stand to be around. She feels God did it for a reason but also to teach her to be careful what she asks for.

We laughed about this, and I thought about it for a long moment. I finally looked at her and said, "This is what I'll pray for then. I won't remove anyone from my Facebook page. I'll simply say to God 'Whoever is meant to stay in my life should stay. If I'm meant to know them and they know me, they'll remain. If not, if they or I serve no purpose in each other's lives, then they'll leave of their own accord.'"

The other co-worker (the one who is only a little older than me) was having lunch with me today. It was just the two of us. She confided in me, though I had my suspicions, about her son probably being gay. She admitted that she wasn't handling it well. She loves him, but can't let herself think about it too much. We talked for a while, and she felt like she was doing everything wrong. She worried because he won't talk to her about it (I didn't point out though why would he if she can't deal with it). I finally looked at her, as I remembered my own experiences when I came out, and told her, "He won't because he doesn't want to hurt you or disappoint you. I know I dashed my mother's dreams of what she thought my life would be like, which was to be a replica of her, and I knew nothing I EVER did would fix that. I could be rich, smart, beautiful, successful, and have the most amazing partner and kids, but I'd still never be good enough. He knows he's destroying your dreams, and it's killing him."

I got choked up and almost started to cry. I think it got to her too because she paused and looked down, nodding her head in understanding. She just looked at me and said, "That makes sense." I don't know if anything I said will help her in relating to her son, but I was ecstatic that she felt like she could talk to me and maybe get a different perspective on it.

So, I guess I got evidence that my prayer was answered. There are people in my life that need to be there, and there is a purpose for it. I have to have faith that there are others in my life that are there for a reason. All I can do is continue on, speak my mind, share my life, and hope something, somewhere gets through to someone. If it's not meant to, then that's okay too.

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