I don't have much of a point to make, just a few rambling recap of an encounter I had a couple of weeks ago.
So a few days before I left for the trip out of the country, I drove to a nearby big city to hit up the clubs. I go basically go to clubs to just sort of watch and observe--to see what real live gay people look like! LOL The only reason I do this particularly in bars is because I don't really know of anywhere else to do such a thing. It's not that I'm all that interested in bars--I don't even go to straight ones. It's just all I can come up with. Anyway, this is a new thing for me, with this being only my third attempt in the third city. And, it so turns out that this would be the second time that I actually ended up talking to a real person in a gay bar.
I was almost ready to call it a night. I only had a couple of drinks, but the scene seemed to be pretty dead--it wasn't a weekend night or anything, so I didn't expect much. I just basically wanted to scope out the scene in that particular city. I happened to be in close proximity to a group of guys who were very drunk and seemed to be having a good time. They were of various shapes, ages, and colors and there was only one dude who looked particularly interesting/"my type" (around my age, clean cut, classy, not dressed flamingly). I was just sitting there slowly sipping on my beer (perhaps looking pathetic?) when out of the blue Mr. Particularly Interesting comes up to me and introduces himself! Holy shit! This was the first time someone other than a bar tender has initiated a conversation with me--and it was actually someone I would want to be chatting with! After we exchanged pleasantries he then introduced me to his mob of friends, which was extremely uncomfortable experience being the center of attention in a gay bar...
Well, after all of that was over with, in my head I'm thinking "Shit! What am I supposed to do now? Go back to my seat and be a loner again? Stay here in the group and act like I'm having fun? Aaaaaaaahhh! Awkward!" That's when the bomb dropped, or the shit hit the fan, or the dove from heaven came down--hell, I don't know how to describe what it was, but it happened:
Mr. PI: "Are you a Christian?"
Me: Mind races, heart sinks... "Wow, is it SO obvious? Am I *that* tense? Laughing nervously
Then, his response, which I unfortunately don't remember exactly, but was something like:
"It's your spirit! I see the light of Jesus shining in you. It's not often I meet other Christians in places like this."
OMG. Here I am in a gay bar having a spiritual experience like I rarely if ever have in the "real" world. Here I am in a gay bar experience fellowship with another believer!
I was totally floored. I've never had anyone say anything like that to me in the "real" world, and here I am in a place trying to make sure no one in the room knows me and someone comes along and instantly recognizes me as their spiritual brother. We talked for a little while longer and found out we had a good bit in common. I mingled with his group a little more. We all had more to drink... and most of them had a bit too much. Finally, we all went our separate ways (since it was a work night, after all) but I got a name, a new friend, and a cell phone number out of the experience. But, there's one more thing I got from this experience...
For a while I've been dealing with the question of, If I'm supposed to deny myself to follow Jesus, does that mean denying my sexuality as well and living as celibate or straight acting or... anything but gay? Through this bar incident, I have found resolve to this question. YES, I should totally deny my whole self to follow Christ... AND I should NOT offer a self to Christ that is a lie and a fraud. Jesus wants us to offer all of our being for radical discipleship. To offer excuses or disclaimers, or to hold certain things (like our sexuality) back is not to deny one's self, but to squander a part of us that is made by a God who creates in God's own image and who declares creation "good."
Who woulda thunk I would find Jesus right there in a gay bar?