People ask me why I bother with the church. Why I bother coming back to christianity at all after all that has happened. I think the truth is, first of all, that I never left. My faith has (although shaken at times) always been an integral part of who I am and why I have done, and why I do the things I do. Simply put it is as much a part of me as is my body or my soul. I did spend years trying to reshape my faith and my calling only to be “called” back into ministry. I can only echo the words of Jeremiah:
If I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.Jeremiah 20.9 (NRSVUE)
As far as I can tell my ordination was by divine grace and not by the power of the church.
This reminds me of the song The man in black (originally by Johnny Cash, but the first time I heard it it was performed by One Bad Pig). As long as the world is the way it is, I must walk this path. As long as people are suffering in the prisons made by societal norms, socioeconomics, destructive addictions and downright evil cruelty. There needs to be a man in black.
In contrast to the men in black from the blockbuster movie I do not wipe people memories and try to hide the alien, foreign or other. Instead I am on a mission to remind people, to help them remember that we all are other, alien, though also divine. To remember our original glory and intrinsic worth.
So I walk this path, and I choose to wear the black sometimes literally, sometimes not. It is a mark on my soul and the shape of my path. Although sometimes, in contrast to the song ,wearing the black actually means dressing up in the vibrant rainbow colors of the LGBTQ community. Whatever it looks like on the outside; It is for the ones who suffer, for the marginalised and the ones excluded and pushed away. For the ones that do not have a voice of their own and have been forgotten or those that are spoken for by powers who do not have their best interest at heart. I wear it for the LGBTQ movement. I wear it for the innocent victims of war. I wear it for the wounded and the crippled. I wear it for the homeless and the hopeless. So that we do not forget and so that we are not forgotten.