This is the view of my neighbor’s house from my front porch. It looks like the house went on a three day drinking binge and threw up all over the lawn. Repeatedly. This has been my view for about a week. There was much speculation about what went on over there. There was a lot of human activity for a few days and then…silence.
My roommate said I should write about this. I think he likened the lawn and the house to our lives as Christian men and women. We live Christian lives that look similar to nice houses. The outside of the house is nice and pristine. We manicure the hedges, fertilize the lawn, plant beautiful flowers and keep it free from leaves and debris. We want the outside of our house to inspire envy. We want people to exclaim; “Wow! What a nice house. Those people really have it all together.” Yet, I wonder what people would see if they stepped inside the same house? Would it be as well kept? Then I look across the street to my neighbor’s house once again. There is no mystery what the inside of their house might have looked like.
I think as Christians our lives look like those pristine “houses of interest” to non Christians and struggling Christians in our lives. We keep ourselves super, squeaky clean letting those around us believe that everything is in our lives is perfect. We lead others to believe that we have it all together. We put up a good facade, yet behind closed doors, we are struggling and dying a little with every passing moment. The bible describes us as “white washed tombs”. Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.”
I am not without fault. I have lived a life like that. There are areas of my life that are quite manageable, but in the areas that I struggle, I STRUGGLE BIG!
My eyes, once again, catch the vision of a lawn strewn with trash bags, sofas, cabinets and other odds and ends. The yard is trashed, but in the back of my mind I get a visual of the house. It’s barren walls, scarred from nails where pictures of family once hung. The floors are open and the rooms lie dormant and quiet. There is nothing left of the clutter that once permeated every available amount of space. It’s been swept clean. Isn’t that the picture of our lives when we have that first, life changing encounter with Jesus. We eject all the crap from “our house” out on to the lawn “of the cross”. We care less what the neighbor’s say about the outside of our house and everything about what God has done to clean out the inside. Nothing matters except for Jesus.
When i walked out of homosexuality, I began a long walk toward Jesus. That is what it felt like to me. In truth, Jesus had walked with me everywhere I had already been. My drunkest night. My gayest club. Every moment I contemplated suicide. The night of my rape. Every night I tried to drink away the loneliness. When I used cigarettes to calm my nerves. Every time my mom crossed my boundaries. Every time my voice was shoved just a little deeper down my throat. Jesus, understood my pain, because he was no stranger to it. He saw it. He wept right along with me. And at the end when I decided it wasn’t worth it anymore, he held my hand and heart as I took those first scary steps away from a lifestyle that was my comfort for ten years.
My life is one of setting captives free. What is “your prison” my friend? Christ has laid the keys outside the door little brother. It is your choice whether you reach through the bars and use them to open the door to your cell.
God has called me to be a minister to the gay community. Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to PROCLAIM freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
About an hour before I found that scripture, the Lord showed me a vision of myself headed into a prison by way of a massive bridge. I saw a throng guards marching against me. I was afraid at first, but God coaxed me onward and as I walked, the guards parted and walked off the sides of the bridges. I walked into the prison and began to open cell doors. Some men walked free and some men stayed in their cells. God has called me to set men free.