I can’t tell you what reading these stories has done to me. Maybe I can try, let’s see, it has made me realize how connected we all are. Why are stories matter more than most things. I am starting to see how we got to all the ugly- the shame and the resentment, the lack of trust and inability to receive. It has been a privilege to read these stories. It has brought out every good and strong feeling.
Ben Moore is sharing a short story today about his roommate and what it is like to know, but not be directly told. And it is quite beautiful when you read how he felt, He wanted to understand and he wanted to be let in and isn’t that what we all want from one another? Those exchanges of honest story?
Ben is a pastor, husband and an excellent writer and I hope, after you read this, you’ll go check out his blog here.
I came home one day and there was a new picture hanging on the wall. Of two men- kissing.
I was a junior in college and rented a two bedroom apartment with two other guys. I shared a room with Kevin, while Josh got his own room. I knew the picture was Josh’s. That was the only thing I was certain of. He had done a good job of faking being interested in women. There was a girl I was certain he would be in a relationship with soon, if he wasn’t already. And yet, there was the picture.
What did it mean? Did he just like the picture? Was he making a statement about his support for gay rights? Was he coming out? He left for Christmas break the next day, and neither of us saw him in between. The questions would remain until the new year.
And new questions came. Questions about myself.
If he is coming out, why didn’t he just tell us? I started asking myself if I had ever done or said anything that might suggest I wouldn’t be there for him. And I got mad. I got mad that he would think I might have a problem with it. That he didn’t trust me to be a friend no matter what.
I didn’t get it.
I didn’t get how terrifying it all must have been for him. I didn’t get that it had nothing to do with not trusting me, and everything to do with a world that was untrustworthy with this secret. I didn’t get how vulnerable just hanging up that picture would make him. I didn’t get that my other roommate may not handle it well. I didn’t get that he had to go home and face his family and what those feelings must have been.
I didn’t get it.
Thankfully before he actually came out I got it enough. I realized he couldn’t understand that he would be loved and accepted until he was. He couldn’t get that I was there for him until I offered it.
I still can’t say I get what it’s like to come out, and I’ll never be able to. But what is it like to receive something so vulnerable? I get it. It is holy. It is sacred. It is a blessing.
Be sure to go check out Ben’s blog.