Sunday, July 12, 2009

by "GR"

Growing up, I didn't really like saying the pre-dinner blessing: it seemed a chore, like being asked to clean up after the dog or brush my teeth before bed. There was always a bit of unspoken competition between my brother and me, in which we would both slouch as low as possible to avoid being called on to say the prayer.

A few years later, I hesitantly came out of the closet. After many tears and arguments, my parents and I reached an uneasy peace that has held more or less steady for the last five years. But a funny thing happened in 2003 after I came out: I was no longer asked to pray at the dinner table. These days, when my family gathers, either my brother or my father blesses the food. The prayers I did not want to say are now the prayers I am not allowed to say. My mother and sister have always been silent. And now I am, too.

It was this experience, this loss of status, more than any other in my life, that taught me about the silence of women in the Church of Christ. I am not a woman, and the experiences of Church of Christ women are different than this gay man's, though I think our experiences run parallel. But I understand now what it is like to be told your voice is not welcome. I understand the power of exclusion.

I have never heard my sister pray. I hope one day I will.

7 comments:

Justin Burton said...

Thanks, GR. I hear in this post a voice that really brings home the absurdity of imposed silence.

*K* said...

Oh GR. I miss you. Please blog again.

TKP said...

I too miss you GR. Thank you thank you thank you for this.

JTB said...

I am very, very glad that you know your voice is welcome here. Always.

jduckbaker said...

GR,
Thank you so much for your words. Please keep writing.

Jared Cramer said...

I also miss GR.

This was good. This whole series is powerful, like a flood of truth beating at my heart. I now live in the Episcopal Church, in a tradition that (for the most part) flows in the direction of this flood of truth...

But I can still feel the rush of the flood blow by me as I float in my TEC raft.

It feels good.

Like being carried home.

Indie said...

"I have never heard my sister pray." Such a sad, sad line.