Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chapter 13: Cosmic Cafe

Chapter 13: Cosmic Café

“Hey Don where’s Cosmic Café again?”
“In the Gayborhood. Get on Oak Lawn and come towards where I work.”
“Ummm…give me a street,” I said to Don trying to maneuver my way through the twisting streets of Dallas.
“It’s right before Congress—on the left.”
“Okay, I see it. See you in a sec.”
“Great, McGregor is already here.”
I pulled into the parking lot of what had been a residential house that now sported a bizarre elephant mounted on the second floor. Walking in I knew that the owners of the Cosmic Café were clearly gay. The array of colors and beaded things everywhere shouted, “homosexual.”
I shook Don’s hand and pulled him in for a backslap hug—which was awkward. It was always awkward for Don.
“I’m still getting used to you and your straight hug thing,” Don said as I backslapped hugged McGregor.
“Yeah, well you better if you’re going to be hanging around us on a regular basis.”
“I told McGregor that I am going to call you Type A from now on,” Don said smiling at me.
“Oh yeah, why’s that?” I asked.
“Do you really have to ask?” Don laughed. McGregor and I laughed as well. A waiter came by and asked what we wanted and I ordered a white chocolate mocha equivalent, while Don got a straight coffee, and McGregor ordered a Cosmic something.
“Well, catch me up on what you guys are talking about,” I said.
“Well, I was just telling McGregor about how surreal this whole experience was. I never thought in a godzillion years that I would ever be a Christian.”
“Neither did we,” I said and smiled.
“Don, I still have your email from when you first contacted the church, several months ago,” McGregor smiled. “I’m going to be speaking at the main Fellowship Church. I’m going to read your email as part of the sermon if that’s ok.”
“Do whatever you want,” Don said. “Although, I don’t know how interesting my email could possibly be.” The waiter brought our coffees and I grabbed mine and sipped it. Not too bad.
“I think it will hold their attention, Don,” McGregor said. “Not everyone asks us to leave town or get raptured or any of the things you asked and stated in your email.”
“What was it Don, that pushed you over the edge in terms of your faith?” I interjected.
“Well, that Tuesday night, I told McGregor as we were having dinner that I didn’t need your God. I told him that his God seemed like a lateral move from my made up god,” Don said. McGregor nodded. Don continued, “It wasn’t till I got home late that night, my lover was already asleep. I tried to be real quiet so I wouldn’t wake him up, but as soon as my head hit the pillow, I started crying.”
“What was going through your head?” I asked.
“I kept thinking about the crucifixion and about the sacrifice of Jesus. It was so moving. I just couldn’t shake it. I started to cry and I didn’t want to wake up my lover, so I went downstairs and just cried. I felt so much shame for my life. I felt so guilty, like I had done something, but I couldn’t figure it out. It felt like my entire existence caused him to go to the cross, and so I just said I was sorry. I surrendered—in AA we are taught to turn our life and our will over to the care of God and I think by doing that your God became my God,” Don said.
“That’s right, Don,” McGregor said.
“Now you guys aren’t going to stop talking to me now that I have converted are you?” Don asked. “Because I will throw away this Christianity thing if that means we won’t continue having conversations and you won’t be interested in talking to me anymore,” Don said.
“Don, of course, we will still talk to you,” I said.
“You guys helped make this happen, so I am holding you responsible to help me with this.”
McGregor and I laughed. This would be the easiest discipleship I had ever experienced. I had never had anyone so eager to learn about God. Something started to creep into my throat and made me uncomfortable. When was the time to bring up the gay stuff. I mean if he was a Christian, then we had to confront him. He was no longer a tax collector, he was now a brother, and a brother was confronted on issues like this. I hoped McGregor felt the same way.
“Don, what about,” I paused not sure how to say it, “What about being gay?”
“What about it?” he asked. “What does that have to do with spirituality?”
“Well,” I thought for a moment trying to say the right thing. “The Bible isn’t exactly too hot on it. It says it’s a sin.” I watched Don’s face for a reaction. He looked surprised and I dreaded even bringing it up.
“I can’t help that I’m gay. That has to be a weird interpretation. I know that people used the Bible to hate black people as well,” Don said as I felt the conversation go political.
“Don, look, right now I want you to understand salvation,” McGregor said. “Don’t let any person tell you what you should do. As you read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will guide you on that.”
I thought for a moment and agreed. If Don had the Holy Spirit, then it would illuminate the scriptures for him and he would see the truth.
“Yeah, that makes sense,” I said and Don smiled.
“If anyone starts talking to you about being gay, just be polite and say that you are talking to God about that and that is between you and God,” McGregor said.
I started to think about that. I wasn’t completely sure I agreed, but at the moment I didn’t know how to not shatter his faith and encourage him to pursue the Bible. I felt what McGregor said was true. Of course Dr. Kreider was convinced we should never read our Bible on our own, because that is how heresies started. I wanted to trust the Holy Spirit on this one, but what if the Holy Spirit used me to tell Don that those homosexual thoughts and acts were sinful and that if he wanted to pursue Christ, he would abandon it. But letting the scriptures speak for themselves I felt would show him.
We wrapped up coffee with another awkward backslap straight hug and I headed for my car still wondering how the sanctification process of Don would mete out. Did repentance come with salvation? Don asked for forgiveness for his life, but he didn’t get the homosexuality part yet. When would that kick in? God give me the answers, cause I don’t have a clue where to start here.

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