Once upon a time on the planet Myrth, in the proud State of Secksas, the largest and loudest of all the States of The Union, the freest country on Myrth, in the city of Bootson, the third largest city in The Union and the home of many of the leaders of all of Myrth, there was born and raised a girl whose deepest desire was to serve God as an ordained priest of the church that nurtured her. Her name was Humility.
Humility always wanted to do the right thing. Putting others’ desires ahead of her own, she happily did what was expected of her — went to college, graduated, got a good job, rose in the ranks, was a dutiful daughter, sister, friend, and — by all accounts — an exemplary citizen. For decades, Humility never made a wave.
In the middle of her life, Humility woke up one day and said, “I have been faithful to the expectations of everyone around me, but I have not been faithful to myself or my God. I believe I have been called to ordained ministry — I have always believed this — and now that I am older, stronger, and wiser, I must pursue my call.
Humility’s parish was honored to have her begin her journey with them. At the behest of their bishop, they formed a committee to help discern whether Humility’s call was authentic, and after many months, they wrote a glowing report saying that any parish led by Humility would indeed be a blessed one. And then they became sad because in order to continue her dream, Humility would have to leave the State of Secksas and move to another diocese. Although two-thirds of all the bishops in The Union would gladly ordain someone like Humility, the Bishop of the Diocese of Secksas would not ordain a “non-celibate homosexual.” She could say that she didn’t make love, but Humility thought that beginning her journey toward God’s ministry with a lie was probably not a good idea, especially since God himself had made her that way.
So Humility left her aging parents, her girlfriend, her extended family, her friends, her church, her community, and life in the only place she had ever called home, and journeyed to a far-away city to pursue her call. And many mourned and many cursed, and all cried bitter tears at the unfairness because in order to serve God, Humility had to leave everyone who loved her.
That night, Humility’s girlfriend, Patience, fell asleep in a chair. After midnight, she awoke and, realizing that there was no longer anyone there to wake her up to go to bed, she cried.
The next morning, Patience woke up feeling impatient. “Our friends and family say that they believe we are all the same, but do they tell others? Do they insist that their bishops and politicians and bosses stop discriminating based on who someone loves? Do they vote to help us become equal or excuse our issues as irrelevant? Do they realize that what they sometimes call ‘tolerance’ is back-handed judgment? Now that Humility has been effectively run out of town, with Patience likely to follow, will the people who love us commit to telling the truth about what they believe and become leaders by example? We must all be the change we seek to affect in others.”
Patience asked these questions and wondered if, by asking them aloud, her friends would understand that she and Humility and other people like them, need to hear their voices. Because, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Copyright © 2010 Alice Melott
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