In this blog, I tend to emphasize my "angst" as I "struggle" with who I am. As I've come to accept who I am, this angst level has decreased. This blog has been, for the most part, an expression of that angst above and beyond all else in my life. I suspect, as such, for those who view me only through the eyes of this blog, you might suspect me as always being angsty. This isn't so... for the most part, I'm at piece and am comfortable being me.
In this blog, I also tend to shy away from testimony bearing, and the thought came, that maybe some may question my spiritual convictions. I often don't blog about these things (because I have several ways to express myself in other contexts outside the blog, whereas my gay issues have no other contexts but this blog), and maybe that isn't good. Yet, when I have blogged about them, I typically get zero comments or feedback. In other words, DICHO nailed it when he said that my "angsty" posts generate more discussions to the point of increasing his jealousy of such banter.
So to make a preface even longer, and at the risk of receiving no comments, I want to share something that happened yesterday in church...
Is it appropriate to cry in Church? I mean, there are those that gush each and every Sunday and you just want to say "get a grip on reality, man!" I mean, real men don't cry, right? And men who tear up at the drop of a hat (I'm a sucker for a good tear-jerker movie), should be shot and put out of their misery, right? Sometimes when you see a certain brother or sister come to the podium, you know the tears are going to gush and you hang your head in embarrassment for them. (I've been known to wear my emotions on my sleeves, but sometimes those emotions are also cynicism, skepticism, and frustration). But, when was the last time you had tears swell up in your eyes in all three meetings of the block? It's been a while for me.
1. In priesthood, we were discussing the meaning of testimony, and the spirit triggered my mind to the countless testimony meetings I held, conducted, and observed while serving in a Branch Presidency at the MTC. I was prompted to share the incredible experience of seeing new elders and sisters pour into our branch every other week and "seasoned" elders and sisters pour out and onto their missionary service eight weeks later. The thought of remembering this flow of missionaries through the doors of the MTC flooding tears of emotion in me that are still very tender and precious. How many times did we welcome in a group of missionaries in a kickoff testimony meeting and undoubtedly there would be one or two or more elders (typically not sisters) who would stand and say they weren't sure of why they were there or what they believed, but that by putting into practice the principles of the Gospel, eight weeks later would stand and bear testimony with heart-felt conversion and tear-filled personal conviction. As I shared this with the quorum, tears swelled up in my eyes and in my heart of the feelings I still have of those experiences of testimony some 25 years later.
2. In Sunday School, I was teaching my little class of "misfits" and we came across the scripture in D&C 18 where the "worth of a soul" is discussed, and the "joy" that comes from touching another for good. And tears swelled up in my eyes as I shared a personal experience of the "joy" that comes from just "one soul" and how my life has been blessed by being a part of just this "one". It wasn't planned. It wasn't scripted. It just happened and my little class of "misfits" and I all started tearing up together.
3. In Sacrament Meeting, I sat next to a young, recently widowed sister who has the most beautiful voice. I hadn't spoken with her for some time and so we chatted for a bit and reconnected. The meeting was powerful, but the spirit was felt more strongly as I felt her pain, her joy, her loneliness, her strength, as she sang the hymns with me. By the closing song, I was in tears again (count them - three times!) and had to stop singing as I listened to her voice express her spirit and her struggle and her pain and her joy and her testimony as she sang. After the closing prayer, I reached over and gave her a big hug and told her: "I don' know that you realize the feelings of the spirit that I have felt as I've sat here with you and hearing you sing". She broke out crying in my arms and we held each other for a moment.
Sometimes, I'm judged as an emotional boob. Sometimes, emotion is confused with the spirit. But, yesterday, I felt the spirit confirm within me that God loves me, that triggered memories are "tender mercies" from Him, and that we are here to touch each other for good, because of our "struggles" that make us who we are.
Now that this gaggy and sappy post is over, I'm inclined to hit the delete key as no one will comment anyway, and I promise I'll return to my normally cynical, skeptical, and angsty self.