January 05, 2010

Encouraging Words 1/5/10-"Secrets of a Closet Christian"

From the Chicago Sun-Times (hat tip to Twitter friend gcnjustin.  Can you relate to this story?

It was Sunday morning in my scruffy Brooklyn neighborhood, and I was wearing a dress. Walking to the subway, I ran into a friend heading home from yoga class. She wore sweats.

"Where are you going so early all dressed up?" she asked, chuckling. "To church?"

We shared a laugh at the absurdity of a liberal New Yorker heading to worship.

The real joke? I totally was.

Inside the church, it's cool and quiet. I read the Collect of the day in the Book of Com- mon Prayer, which urges us: "While we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure." My recent layoff no longer seems like the end of the world. I take Communion and exchange the peace and listen to the sermon. As I'm walking back up the aisle, I feel reoriented and calmer, the indignities of the week shift into perspective.

These moments are not only sacred; they are secret. Outside, on the steps of the church, I think I see someone familiar coming down the sidewalk, and I bolt in the other direction.

Why am I so paranoid? I'm not cheating on my husband or committing crimes. Those are battles my cosmopolitan, progressive friends would understand. Many had to come out -- as gay, as alcoholics, as artists in places where art wasn't valued. To them, my situation is far more sinister: I am the bane of their youth, the boogeyman of their politics, the very thing they left their small towns to escape. I am a Christian.
Click here to read the rest of the story. 

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