“Trust me,” I assured him.Im a messenger from God.” What I didnt go on to say, because he wasn’t ready to hear it, was that he, too, was a messenger from God. We all are. Otherwise, God/the Universe/Life/Love/Spirit has no means of communicating to us in words we’ll understand.
This idea of us being channels of truth from the Spirit comes directly from organized religion. The Catholic Church, for instance, asserted in the documents from the Second Vatican Council, that God inspires truth from the mouths of everyone. It’s a role to be embraced, and with it comes responsibility.
We are spiritual warriors, we who look for inspiration, and meaning, to guide, and give purpose to our lives. Has anyone not sat on the rocks or sand, gazing at the powerful, churning ocean, or at the spectacular, starlit sky, or walked among the ancient trees, and wondered, “How do I fit into all of this?”
I celebrate with gratitude seeing and hearing all of the answers previous seekers have posted during their short stays, such as the Desiderata. “You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees or the stars. You have a right to be here.” Quotes abound from people, just like us, who have experienced a glimpse of truths, and recorded them to make certain the revelation isn’t lost. They do it in songs, essays, cartoons, and TV scripts, among a myriad of manner. The Tao Te Ching is 2,500-year-old recording of this inspiration:
“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.”
Since the beginning of time, there have always been those who discovered that we have to be very still in order to hear the whisper of God. And, I believe that a good many of them lived unconventional lives, such as being in same-sex loving relationships, or being gender queer, unable to suppress their need to express the Universe completely. Oscar Wilde and Mary Oliver would be examples of those whose prose and poetry are profoundly wise, their observations not new, but reframed through their daily experiences, and reported in their gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer tongue.
The sexual orientation or gender identity of a prophet means little to me if what they say reflects my experience of truth, or challenges me to grow beyond my comfort level. I don’t need to know who they loved, or how they lived, in order to find in their words or art reflections of my own reality. But, I’m impressed with how many spiritual warriors manifest in their gay tongues the truths that match my own. And knowing that they’re LGBT often gives their gifts special meaning. Have you heard k.d. lang sing “Hallelujah”?
Most LGBT people who have been hurt by religion, their own or another’s, aren’t eager to identify themselves as spiritual warriors. I don’t know that Dustin Lance Black would want to be told his screenplays are prophetic? Would Kate Clinton or Urvashi Vaid like hearing that they are messengers from God? Kate would make a joke. But, I embrace being a mouthpiece of the Universe, and I wish more LGBT people would see their lives as gifts, and their insights divine.
We’re not supposed to think good things about our angelic selves. Too much joy in being a manifestation of God might be considered pride, narcissism, or delusion. Only Jesus, Buddha, Joseph Smith, Mohammed, Moses, and a handful of others, are allowed, in some minds, to say out loud, “I speak for God.” Well, I speak for God too. And I believe you do.
I’m not talking about the often heard, “God told me to run for President,” or “God Hates Homosexuals.” That’s not God Talk. Messages from God, or the Universe, aren’t self-serving politically, or materially. They’re “other serving” spiritually. “It is in giving that we receive.” Love is the source of God’s whispers, and the whispers don’t come from an outside source. We are talking with ourselves. “The kingdom of God is within,” said Jesus.
Recently, I was asked how a good, Irish Catholic boy like myself could comfortably reconcile his homosexuality with the teachings of the Church. I not only don’t try, but for my own sake, I don’t care. The Church was never going to say “Gay is good,” so I said it, and they fired me. The Church wouldn’t allow me to be an openly gay priest, so I acknowledged to myself that I am a priest, committed to serving, and ordained by the affirmations of my friends and family. Nor will the Church officially declare me a saint, so I declare myself a saint in the hopes of others seeing how I, and they, are manifesting the deep truths of Love, which is God. “They who abide in love abide in God, and God in them.”
An older gay Catholic friend shared his concern about going to hell for being homosexual, despite years and years of loving kindness to his male spouse, his friends, family, and clients, and to strangers.
“No,” I insisted. “You are a good, loving manifestation of the divine. Your relationship was beautiful, wonderful, and sacred. You created heaven for yourself and others.”
He pushed back skeptically.
“Trust me,” I assured him. “I’m a messenger from God.”
He smiled with a curious look. That’s a beginning.