Only a sinner…


The past couple of days have seen my writing caught up in the issues related to Orthodox faith and the upcoming election in Minnesota where a mong the items is a constitutional amendment affirming the definition of marriage as one man and one woman. The responses have been largely thoughtful and interesting.

Yet one thing is very important to know. I wish I could have come to my conclusions about sexuality and marriage from a holy perspective. I wish I had the followed the path that our Faith laid out for me in these matters, but I didn’t. I’m not going to go into the gory details but suffice it to say I came of age in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the era of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”, and I managed to fit all of them into my schedule.

I’ve never really spoken much about this because frankly it’s not something I really want to revisit very often. I’m ashamed of some of the things I did and sometimes I look back and say “My God, what was I thinking?” I hurt people and used them, people who didn’t deserve to be hurt and used. I hurt myself as well and brought issues and struggles into my life that continue to this day. God forgives, restores, heals, and makes new. When sanity returned both my wife and I did follow the Good path, she had never left and I caught up to her, but it doesn’t mean that what happened didn’t happen and that I was made permanently immune to its effects.

I was a lonely kid in high school, looking for love, acceptance, people to be my friend, and some larger purpose. There were a lot of short cuts out there that promised some, most, or all of what I needed and I took some of them. Yet what I truly needed continued to elude me. There were lots of blind alleys to travel, lots of easy but treacherous paths. In the end, though, the bill was way higher than the benefits, the check far more costly than the meal was worth.

The truth is that I’m far from an example of perfection. I’m basically a sinner immeasurably helped by God’s grace and somehow elevated to a dignity as Priest that I never will deserve. So many of the things I know, so many of the things I talk about, are not based on some superior wisdom but rather on my own experiences sticking, as it were, my foot into a bear trap enough times to finally realize that it might not be a good idea.

All I know for sure is that there is a better way. a way that revolves in and around Jesus. It took me a while to figure that out, and sometimes I still miss the point, but from what I’ve glimpsed of it there is nothing better. I want people to know about this way. I want people to experience it. I would rather have people not experience the pain, the struggle, and the heartbreak that comes from looking for good water in empty wells.

So if i get a little fervent sometimes please forgive. There are times when I feel like a person waving madly at passing cars, trying to get them to notice that the bridge is out. Just know that it isn’t about me, about politics, about money, or anything else except to hope you find what I want my words and life to be about, Jesus.

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