Being Different

Meister Eckhart  Being Different Judges 13:2-7, 24-25; Luke 1:5-25

Samson and John were born to be different. Samson  struggled with his differences, and ultimately redeemed himself in his death; John was different in the way he lived and dressed and he focused on the coming of Christ. He went to his death because of his differences.

Two seeks ago we sat with a fifteen year old young man who had just come to the City, to live in the “gay paradise,” instead he has found homelessness, and struggle.  He has found homophobia here as well, and simply indifference.

We talked of being gay, being different, and we shared of how being gay or queer is a great gift–for it brings one  into identity with the vast majority of people in the world–people of color, disability, other religions, who are often persecuted, and not recognized.  One’s heart can  have compassion from one’s own suffering. One can identify with others who are in the minority.

One has compassion for those who are alone. For being queer brings great aloneness–for only 2% to 5% of people are queer–and a vast majority of people have no understanding. There will always be those who believe you can “change,”  We know we were born “queer” and in accepting it as a gift, we find wholeness, but most people will not understand that; and those who are our allies have never experienced the shame and persecution, no matter what words or actions they share, they can never truly understand.  Turn on the T.V., go to a movie, read the books that are read to children, there are few, if any queer examples, for we are in the minority.  We go to inclusive churches and organizations–and we are expected to assimilate.  Being queer is a great gift, one from God. Rejoice in that gift!

We are different in that God has  called us to a ministry to people on the fringes. A friend has preached a sermon using us as an example of John the Baptist. And like John we dress differently,– our punk clothes, with tattoos and jewelry are not typical clergy wear.  We are completely focused on our work, for it is in our relationship to God that our work flows. We are single minded.

Dr. Will Tuttle says: “None of us is completely innocent, because to some degree we all are, and have been, in all three roles as victims, perpetrators, and bystanders.”  To condemn the church, to condemn others people mean we condemn ourselves for none of us are innocent. Rather than point fingers our call is to be the “mothers of God.”

Meister Eckhart said: “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.”  God is always calling us to be be his creative beings, loving one another in our differences, that is his/her call.  Our ministry is that of being a mother to the thousands of street kids through the past twenty one years, and that is what being different means to us–in season and out season simply showing up, being available, and in our differences reflecting the motherhood of God.   And that is God’s call to all of us–to be “mothers of God”, in our own  unique and individual way.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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