Sunday, May 18, 2008

Testimony

Sorry this is a week late, but here is the testimony I gave last week at our General Conference service at CWM. I re-wrote this three times and I still feel like it wasn't exactly what I wanted to say.. but for better or worse, here it is:

When I sat down to write this testimonial a lot of images came into my head, and a lot of memories, both good and bad. But when I tried to focus on a moment where I felt the Holy Spirit come down on General Conference, my mind kept coming back to the afternoon of Wednesday April 30th. For 3 hours we listened to delegates "perfect" the Majority and Minority reports dealing with Paragraph 161G: Human Sexuality. those were the longest 3 hours I've ever sat through. And the most painful. The deceitfulness and hatred that came through was beyond difficult to listen to; although I felt adequately prepared for deal with that. What I was not prepared for were the emotions following the vote. Pain so intense I literally felt like I couldn't breath. Pain I haven't felt since standing at Rachel's memorial. At first, the pain was all I could focus on. My personal pain, and pain for all who this decision hurt. Eventually, however, I was able to realize that I was not alone in my pain. Not only that, but i was also surrounded by my church.

My church was standing arm in arm to represent the body the larger church had just broken.

My church not only included those of us in rainbow stolls, but delegates on the floor and other visitors in the bleachers who were hurting too.

My church started to sing.

My church drowned out those who were trying to continue 'business as usual'

And although that has been the hardest part for me to try and process - the complete apathy emanating from many on the floor. Although that's been difficult, I keep coming back to those on the floor who do care.
Who did stand
Who sang with us.

That even though "THE United Methodist Church" told me that I am not wanted, that I am not ready to be a disciple of Jesus because I love women, MY church, this one here at CWM and my extended church of RMN, MY church loves me because THE United Methodist Church doesn't (among many other reasons as Marla pointed out to me after service :)).

They open their doors wider to me.

They open their hearts and minds to me.

They care.

There's a great song by Savage Garden called 'Crash and Burn' When I turned on my music to shuffle when I got on the plane coming home, it was the first song that played and I couldn't help but feel how appropriate it was. I won't sing it, but there's a part that I feel sums up my experience in Texas.

When hopes and dreams are far away
And you feel you can't face the day...
If you need to fall apart, I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash, then crash and burn
You're not alone.
Cause there has always been heartache and pain
And when it's over, you'll breathe again.
We'll breathe again.

3 comments:

Jules said...

Michele,
I am glad to be a part of YOUR church! I was and am glad to stand with you in Fort Worth and every day of our church lives, even though the physical distance is farther away these days. We'll do it again in Tampa, because I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together!
Julie

Anonymous said...

Michele, I wish I had been part of your church. I want so, so much for you to know and understand that I can listen to God now, I can listen to Him and know that He is listening to me; and I did not know anything about General Conference, I didn't know anyone was, and has been, advocating for us anyway. I came here sort of by accident and your original post is part of why I came back. And not here, not come back here to this website, come back to a place where I believe--I do believe, and I am so thankful to you and to all of you who went to represent us.
Nancy

dragonfly said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to send that as anonymous--how fitting is that?? :)