Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Friday, September 18

Today’s Readings: Proverbs 30:18-33; Romans 11:25-32; Psalm 1

Lots of my heterosexual friends over the years have asked me what it’s like to have to endure some of the challenges I’ve faced as a gay man. They expect me to say that the hardships have made my life miserable. And for that reason, they would assume that if I had to do it all over again, I would wish to be heterosexual. Nothing could be further from the truth! If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. There are many reasons I say that; one of which has to do with the countless blessings I have received from facing the discrimination. You see if I hadn’t faced discrimination as a gay man, I would have gone through my life from the vantage point of what has been a historically privileged position: as a white, middle-class male. I would not have had any first hand insight into what it was like to live as an outsider. Because of my experience as a gay man, however, I now have more empathy into the experiences of other groups that have been marginalized: groups such as women, people of color, the elderly, and people who are differently abled. I wouldn’t trade that insight for anything. Some might assume that my experience of being marginalized would make me bitter and hateful person. And certainly there were times in my life when that was the case. But over the long haul, my experience of living as a marginalized person had the opposite effect. As a person who has known first-hand the experience of being marginalized, I now do everything in my power to ensure no one else gets marginalized. This sometimes gets me in trouble. I have moved in progressive circles, for instance, that marginalized people who were more conservative that the rest of the group. When I stood up for the person being marginalized, I was subsequently attacked and characterized as being “one of them”. Oh well. My question for you to consider today is this: “Have you lived through an experience of being marginalized or made the outsider?” Chances are you have. For as Paul wrote in today’s passage from the book of Romans: “In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that God can personally open the door and welcome us back in” (Romans 11:32 from The Message). If you have experienced life as an outsider, how did it affect you? Til next time…

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