bout 35 years ago, something began to happen. To some it
was the beginning of triumph, for others, the ground work for
disaster. While it started in the secular community, it soon found
its way into the religious. Things were starting to change. God was
doing something. God started to call His children back to Him. He
started to call His gay and lesbian children home to Him.
How much faith did those whom God first called to start this
ministry have? My goodness, they must have had the faith that could
move mountains! They went against everything the church taught, they
stepped out on God's promise to begin ministry. They accepted God's
call, even though it looked like something they really shouldn't
have been doing. God supplied them with what they needed, and in
faith they took the first steps. They literally jumped off a cliff
at God's leading, and He caught them, and made them and their
But, it hasn't been that easy. There was opposition. I remember
reading about the history of Metropolitan Community Church and
hearing about the siege of a church. I remember reading about a fire
that claimed the lives of a good number of the congregation of a
church in New Orleans. Success came, but not without suffering.
Through it all, God had a purpose and a plan. He planned out the
lives of those who would begin those ministries, the directions
those ministries would take, and the way He would get them through
the tough times they would have as they fulfilled His plan to call
His gay and lesbian children home.
I wonder how many times they searched their Bibles looking for a
promise from God. How many times did they look to see if God
promised them that He would be there? How many times did they read
this Psalm and realize that the message contained in it was for them?
Sometimes, the pioneers of GLBT ministry were forced to deal with
problems that were not as apparent in other churches. They had to
deal with people who had chosen to lose contact with God. They had
to deal with those who had been hurt or wounded by the message of
the gospel, which would become the source of their strength. They
had to deal with past wounds inflicted by families and friends. They
weren't dealing with the broken, no, they were dealing with the
I'm not broken. I'm shattered. There are many of us today who are
not broken, but shattered. It seems as though the past hurts have
ganged up on us, and have caused us so much pain that we just can't
seem to pick up the pieces. The recent scandal in the Catholic
church about sexual abuse has caused some of us the deepest pain.
Being a survivor of sexual abuse by a pastor, the scandal hit home
for me. It made me realize just how much the events of my past have
shaped who I have become. It also made me realize just how shattered
I really am, and how much I need God, and His love for me to bring
all those shattered pieces back together again.
God is our refuge and strength, a present help in trouble. In the
arms of His love, we can begin to pick up the shattered pieces of
our lives, and with His power, we can begin to glue the pieces back
into place. As Christian gays and lesbians, God is calling out to
us. He is calling us to bring in the broken, shattered and wounded
ones of our community. He is calling us to bring in our straight
allies who have also been wounded and shattered. He's calling us to
show how much of a refuge He really is.
It is interesting how God works. Every day we go through the same
old stuff. We do the same old things. We never really look at the
details much. We might not even see just how He's working in our
lives, then boom! Something snaps, and we begin to look at things
differently. We see the places where we have failed, we see where we
made the wrong decision, we see where He has led us, and when we
followed. We see just how much better things went when we did what
He wanted. We see how much strength we actually got from Him as we
went through trials.
God is our refuge. As we go through trials, He brings us comfort and
peace. As we face difficult situations, He gives us His strength.
When we cannot see the way we are to go, He sends us His wisdom.
When we are lost, He finds us, and pulls us close to Him to show us
just how much He loves us. God is my refuge and strength, a very
present help in trouble. No matter what the situation, no matter how
good, or how bad, God is there to rejoice with us, and to comfort
and care for us.