And we Prayed

It’s been a super stressful morning. We’re all still in various stages of shock about what happened in Orlando. And the truth is, it’s especially painful after the events leading up to it that have affected the LGBT and most recently the T.
 
I decided to go for a bike ride and just loose myself as I weaved through the streets and bike paths of Houston.
 
And as the rain clouds started moving closer and I wondered if I would get totally drenched, I noticed a guy resting on one of the bridges.
 
About 5 feet away from him was a large wooden cross with a pack strapped to it, and some wheels affixed to it’s base.
 
I recognized this as one of those people who travel around carrying a cross and I thought to myself, I wonder where he’s been and where he’s going.
 
He waved as I passed and I continued on.
 
on my return trip I passed him again. This time resting about a mile away from his previous stop sitting under a railroad bridge, his cross leaning about 20 feet away and his head tilted down with a dog at his feet.
 
I continued on, and this time he didn’t notice, but, I got down the path a little ways and I thought to myself.
 
Maybe I should stop, maybe I should talk to this guy, so, I turned around, road the half mile back and introduce myself.
 
His name was Stephen. His dog’s name was Ranger. He was traveling from El Paso and making his way through Houston. He carries the cross a few miles gets a ride back to his truck, then brings his truck back to his location and finds a hotel to spend the night.
 
We talked a little, and I asked him if he had any problems. He said yes, with religious spirits. I asked what he meant, and he gave an example of people who told him Jesus didn’t die on a cross, but died on a stake.
 
He said, it’s not the point. The point is he died for our sins.
 
I know that some of you aren’t Christian, and that’s totally ok. But, the point of this story is that there is a story of love that often gets overwhelmed by the details.
 
We talked a little more, and I told him I needed to get going, and he asked if we could pray together.
 
I agreed.
 
He asked what we should pray for, and I said the people in Orlando.
 
So, there, we were, a man, a dog, a huge wooden cross, and a transgender woman under the railroad tracks next to the Bayou between two thunderstorms….
 
And we prayed.
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He Sent a Tree

Being a Christian and transgender can cause a lot of conflicts in our understanding of life and God.
As we go through our transition we question our identity, and we question our relationship with God.
We’re human, and transition is one of those epic paths in our lives that people write books about.

It’s a life time of judgement, even if those judging don’t know you are transgender. Their words ring in your ears as you move from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood.

One day, we hang our head, and give in to the shame that had been pushed onto us, we feel defeated as we feel we failed God.  But we can’t fight any longer, and we must move forward.

Some of the judgement turn into muffled whispers, and some turn into screaming shouts.  But, our transition continues.  It’s like some type of force is pushing us down this uncertain road.  Those judging will say we are against God, and that the force is evil.  They shout to us to rebuke our wicked ways, and through tears, and pain, we know there is no other way.

You see, even though we don’t know it yet, our transition, is our path.  And we are right with God.  We’re doing what he intended, and we are becoming an example of his love.

All those years of fighting against this force, was fighting against God.  And the moment we gave our self to our transition, we gave our self to God and righted our course.

For some of us, it took longer than others, and surely we have greater distance to travel to move back to that course.  But, none the less, it’s been corrected.

Every day, as I finish yoga at my home, I pray to God, and as I sit there on the floor, I ask him to let me be an example of his love.  Through all of the judgement, and all of the shouting, I simply want to live as an example.

Today, as I woke up, and checked my social media, as I do every day, and there was one of those memories and it suggested I share.

It was a quote from a friend who reached out to me with this

“I don’t know the answers to any of this but I know I have gone from being apathetic either way to really feeling bad for the harassment trans people have received. I know it has brought me closer to God by the feeling of “needing to love another” and worry about my own log.”

And, as I was doing my morning yoga, as I practiced in my office, I was in tree pose, when another friend sent me a message in which they shared a link to a 5000 year old tree in Scotland that was suddenly producing berries.  It had been producing pollen for thousands of years before.

This means the tree, once male, was now producing fruit, something female trees do.

It’s difficult, to be transgender, when so many people shout at you telling you that you are going against God…  but, the truth is, they are not an example of God’s love.

And, just as a force is guiding us, a force is guiding them.  And in both cases, we will find out that the source of these forces are not what we originally thought.

I can only be positive about my path.  And I know that my path, and the force guiding me is God.  I have no question.  I have no doubts.  And, just as tree should be judged by it’s fruit, people should be judged by their example.

There is an evil that is pushing people away from God.  That evil is living comfortably in the church.

God sends us messages, and as long as we are willing to listen, they will help reinforce our path.  Today, he sent me a tree.  And, I am so very thankful.

What kind of fruit do you produce?  What kind of tree are you?

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