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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Power in Being Still

I recently read a post by another blogger commenting on a rather biased article written by a member of NARTH on the causes of homosexuality. This article, found here at Invictus Pilgrim's blog, made a few sweeping accusations as to the general attitude of those who do not believe in a "defect-oriented" theory of the development of homosexuality.

I'll admit, my first reaction was to get my feathers ruffled somewhat. Part of me wanted to rush over to the blog and start writing about how closed minded people can be, and how ultimately, the cause of homosexuality makes no difference, only where we go from here.

But I decided against that route. A few moments to breathe deeply made quite the difference. Not to mention that as I randomly opened the ebook "Why Theology Can't Save Us" by John Gustav-Wrathall the next chapter for me to read was on how we react to angry and cutting accusations, particularly on the internet. Such beautiful synchronicity surely suggests divine reminder.

This made me think somewhat on the things I've been taught lately on my own personal journey. I wrote recently on a dream that I had that contained a valuable lesson for me. But almost as recently, my therapist and I deconstructed another dream. The meaning behind it was powerful for me. Though I won't recount the dream or its complexities here, I'll suffice it to say that the primary message was this: When those with angry accusations or judgments come, who claim to know what I should be doing, I should neither retreat nor attack in retaliation. It is best to stand, calm and unyielding, and eventually the attacker will break down.

I realize that this may sound disjointed or convoluted, but it makes sense to me, which is probably why I'm the one who had the dream. And it has done a lot for me, helping me to deal both with external attacks on my current life situation, as well as internal doubts that come, suggesting that my instincts are leading me astray. It seems to be that there is great power in "being still". It reminds me of the words spoken by Moses to the fearing children of Israel at the Red Sea. Finding themselves trapped between angry Egyptians and a wet place they turned to Moses, who responded "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord" (Exodus 14:13).

This last week I watched a mini-series on Netflix about the Kennedy family, particularly JFK and his time in office (It's called "The Kennedys" and I highly recommend it). In one episode JFK has to deal with extreme racial issues going on in Missouri. The state has been ordered by the courts to allow an African American student to enroll in the public university, but the governor and the mob outside the university disagree. The US Marshals are called in to escort the young student, and he enters the campus, surrounded by swarms of furious protesters spewing profanities and spitting at his feet. But this young student stands firm and silent, walking stoically to the administration building.

Truly, it was the most powerful thing he could have done. Other such cases occurred around the country at that time. The Little Rock Nine also faced extreme hatred as they fought for equality. I remember seeing this picture in a textbook when I was in High School. I remember feeling so angry at the woman in the back, for all her unfounded hatred. But once again, Elizabeth Eckford walks calm and steady.

When people respond this way, there is nothing that the angry oppressor can do to bring them down. The calm but unyielding resolve of such people can be an impenetrable wall.

To be quite honest, I feel like sometimes in our own situation people can become impatient and angry, losing this calm and sure exterior. Simply looking at how Prop 8 was handled, by both sides, illustrates my point. While I wasn't in the country for this (thankfully!) I have seen clips of the types of angry protest/battles that took place over this issue. I truly don't think this is how we need to win this battle. Confidence is quiet. It doesn't need to be shouted into some ultra-conservative's face. But it does need to be harbored deep in the soul. Imagine what a crowd of hundreds of LGBT protesting like this would look like:

Such silent solidity is difficult to ignore. And not only does it fight for rights without contesting other people, it also leaves the protester untarnished from anger or hate.

I've digressed somewhat. I didn't really want to comment on political activism.

Ultimately what I am trying to get across is this: I don't have all the answers over this issue. I don't know why I'm gay. And I don't believe I have to give a reason. Nor do I have to prove to another that I have the right to be treated like a human being. When those furious attacks come, I have resolved to stand still, fearing not, and waiting as the tidal wave of anger falls away. It cannot last. Hatred cannot survive if others do not receive it. It wastes away.

I feel like the strongest statement I can make comes from living day to day, building my confidence, my happiness, and my spirituality. What effect can a storm have on a solidly planted stone? And what effect can those protesting against my rights have if I live strong, a whole and complete human being? Their arguments will crumble, simply because I am. Prejudice will die, and misconceptions will be forgotten.

Lies cannot outlast the truth that lives in me.


Bravone said...

Great post.

Ty said...

:) Thanks!

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