Monday, June 6, 2011

Jesus Loves Lesbians..and Other Sunday Blessings

Sunday morning early--and we're standing around a dying man.  No more treatment for George.  No more doctors and heavy-duty drugs.  These are his last days.  He says he's ready: and it looks that way in his eyes.  So he steps into the middle of this large circle of love: moms with babies, gay couples hanging on, old folks weeping.  And we pray a blessing on the journey ahead: from light to light, from life to death and some kind of life again.  He's lost all kinds of weight--damn cancer--and he's not the pillar he was a year ago.  But George receives each word with the deepest kind of gratitude.  Blessing on blessing.  Even as his body gives way to something wholly and undeniably unknown.

I've got a bunch of friends who think the whole church-thing's outdated.  But it's not today.  My hand resting on George's shoulder, the other on his wife's.  I married them a few years ago.  I watched them create this life--second chances, third chances, glorious chances late in the game.  And now I stand there with all kinds of sisters, brothers--blessing his life's last journey.  Bearing witness to the vulnerability of every body--mine, ours, his.  Believing in the power of love to see us through.

And then we move the morning downtown...to the Gay Pride Parade through the streets of Santa Cruz.  Two of my daughters are walking alongside, waving at the crowds, carrying signs, bearing witness to what churches can be and can do.  We are family.  All of us.  Nine-year-old Hannah beams, ear to ear, and says: "I'm doing this EVERY year!"

My faith doesn't tool me up with lots of answers.  To be honest, I have fewer and fewer as the days roll by.  But it does offer me these saints: dying George and loving Caryl, beaming Hannah and wide-eyed Fiona, a lesbian colleague preaching light and love, and a transgender parishioner choosing life anew.  These saints are everything to me: more than answers, more than cocksure orthodoxy.  They're dying and living, marching and insisting.  Blessing on blessing.