Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi


"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

   This statement has impacted me for years. Throughout my 12 year struggle to reconcile my sexuality with my faith, one thing I kept close to my heart was the hope that one day I could contribute to positive change. Positive change in how the gay community views Christians... And in how Christians view gay people. What a huge priviledge - and responsibility - to have one foot in each camp.

    Not only that - although for obvious reasons this is a large focus in my life - but I have always prayed to be a catalyst for positive-ness. That is why I love this statement. That is why I got this tattoo.
 


   Be - it is a verb. It implies action. Don't just wish it was better. Make it better.

   The - implies singular. I  do believe one person can make a huge change.

   Change - another verb. This world can be pretty messed up - but the change starts with you. And it can start today.

    What sort of legacy do I want to leave? Some paintings and drawings, sure. But more than that - I want to pour into peoples lives. Our lives are so incredibly short, and we only get one try. I want to be an ambassador of hope. Of grace. Of compassion. Of joy. Of gratefulness. Of love. As cheesy as that sounds.

    I have been treated poorly, I have been hurt deeply, I have been accused of a lot of horrible things because I choose to live my life in total honesty - embracing being gay as a Christian. People I love have written me off, and assumed a lot of things about me because of this. This tattoo, wrapped around my right wrist, reminds me every day - no matter what - to respond in love. To extend that grace that has been extended to me, even when (especially when) it doesn't make sense.

    To be - the - change I so deeply wish to see around me.

    What an honor that is.




 

7 comments:

French Mouse said...

That's so beautiful and inspiring Stace!!

Stacey Chomiak said...

Thanks so much Hope! :)

She... said...

I agree - both beautiful and inspiring.

So... although I realize you can't speak for all gay people, maybe you could give your thoughts on this...

I feel pressure to feel strongly about gay people. And I guess I do. I feel strongly that it would be wrong to categorize a gay person any differently than I would a blonde or a tall person.

I rely on the "do not judge" thing. It actually sets me free from having to even consider it.

It's hard to go against what popular culture has told me all my life... (which aren't exactly the most open and welcoming things)... but it's even more difficult to feel good about upholding them.

Not judging sets me free from the responsibility of taking a side.

It seems you've put a bit of thought into this topic... how do you feel about this comment? Am I copping out? Do I really need to put any more thought into it than this?

Stacey Chomiak said...

Hi She... thanks for stopping by and for your comments!

Yah it is definitely a tough issue for both gay and straight issue - and even moreso when you involve a church background. [Which is my history.]

How come you say you feel pressure to feel strongly? Are you close with people who are gay, or have you always been told to believe one way or another?

Thanks for your input :) I think either way, its great to have a dialog about these issues.

She... said...

Thanks for the response!

The pressure comes initially from a legalistic christian perspective that I'd really like to just blind-eye, because I'm from a legalistic Christian background too, and I'd rather not lay claim to that viewpoint.

And then, from the completely non-christian perspective who have no room for 'broken' sexuality where one's life circumstances may facilitate a same-sex relationship where the safety, rather than the attraction, is the starting point of a relationship.

(My goodness - this is tough to express! I support one of the 'Exodus' types of organizations. My friend was horrified to hear that. I can't see all same-sex relationships as being born out of attraction anymore than all male-female relationships being born out of attraction. Some people go through some pretty sh*tty stuff that will make a same-sex relationship more appealing regardling of attraction. My friend is determined to convince me that there is no possibility for someone to be in a same-sex relationship if they are straight.)

Anyhoo. In the end, I decide that I can not wrap my head around it. Decide that I have no right to weigh in on the judement - either way.

And re: am I close to people who are gay... no, not at the moment. I'm mid re-build of a long lost friendship with a person who happens to be gay. The re-build is on account of distance. They just moved back to town.

She... said...

Thanks for the response!

The pressure comes initially from a legalistic christian perspective that I'd really like to just blind-eye, because I'm from a legalistic Christian background too, and I'd rather not lay claim to that viewpoint.

And then, from the completely non-christian perspective who have no room for 'broken' sexuality where one's life circumstances may facilitate a same-sex relationship where the safety, rather than the attraction, is the starting point of a relationship.

(My goodness - this is tough to express! I support one of the 'Exodus' types of organizations. My friend was horrified to hear that. I can't see all same-sex relationships as being born out of attraction anymore than all male-female relationships being born out of attraction. Some people go through some pretty sh*tty stuff that will make a same-sex relationship more appealing regardling of attraction. My friend is determined to convince me that there is no possibility for someone to be in a same-sex relationship if they are straight.)

Anyhoo. In the end, I decide that I can not wrap my head around it. Decide that I have no right to weigh in on the judement - either way.

And re: am I close to people who are gay... no, not at the moment. I'm mid re-build of a long lost friendship with a person who happens to be gay. The re-build is on account of distance. They just moved back to town.

Stacey Chomiak said...

Hey She... Thanks for your follow up comments... this issue is obviously a huge one, and one that I am still exploring myself! I always feel though, that if whatever you believe starts to come in the way of you loving someone, then maybe its time to re-examine things.

I actually told my own story of struggle in the church this past weekend - I will be posting it soon via iTunes. Give that a listen if you so desire :)