Thursday, March 22, 2012

"You're just bothering people. No one wants to hear from You!"

Last September, I started writing to church pastors and christian counselors about my own experiences in coming out of the "gay lifestyle" and I included information on ministries in their area (like the Courage Apostolate or Exodus International affiliate) as well as other resources in their area (like JiM weekends, Courage Sports Camp, and Adventure in Manhood

I started out writing them all by hand, but then started printing them so I could get them out faster. I still hand-address all of them though. Some of the called me to tell me they didn't know of anyone in their church who struggled with homosexuality, but that they would keep the information handy for the future. (I told them they should just start asking people. j/k ;)

So far, I've sent about 620 letters and I still feel like I should keep writing, but I have a lot of doubts and fears about how these are being received and IF I'm even doing any good or just wasting a lot of money and time. I have a lot of doubts about whether this was the right thing to do or if I was just freaking people out by writing them about THIS issue and even telling them my testimony (3-sentence high-level summary). I didn't specifically ask anyone to respond to me so it's ok that I haven't heard from most of them, but I have a hard time not telling myself stories about what they must be thinking. 

I got a few negative responses last week and another one today. One pastor in Rhode Island seemed really angry with me and emailed me to say:  
"You need to get a life! Don't ever contact me again!" 

That was all he wrote.  A few others who contacted me just sounded confused about why I wrote to them about this topic in the first place. I go back and forth in my head thinking maybe this whole idea was dumb and maybe I'm just neurotically trying "fix" other people vicariously instead of doing my Own work. The responses from those two pastors freaked me out and made me really self-conscious about the 600+ letters I've already sent all over the place. I worry that I'm just being seen as a "freak" for spilling my guts with strangers. I worry that maybe ALL of them are thinking that way and  maybe I am just "bothering" people. That belief/story/data? really hurts because it hits me where I'm most vulnerable. I can't help, but hear that voice
 I seem to have voice in my head telling constantly: 
"You're just bothering people. No one wants to hear from you." 

I'm inclined to believe that voice (especially when I get angry calls and emails). There's another voice though that tells me to keep going. I have heard now from 16 men who have said that they have found help and are making significant progress in part due to one of my letters and that is REALLY ENCOURAGING. 

Also, ironically, I ran across a YouTube video about St. John Vianney (the Curé of Ars) - an amazing parish priest and evangelist who led thousands of people back to God at a time when Christianity was extremely unpopular. In this video re-enactment, a demon taunts him constantly saying some very familiar things: 
"You're just bothering people. No one wants to hear from you."

  I'm of course not half of the disciple that St. John Vianney was. I ONLY mention him and this video because it was ironic that Devil is portrayed saying the same words. I also love the prayer that St. John Vianney prays - pleading for purity of intention, humility, and LOVE.

Pax Christi,

1 comment:

  1. Keep doing what you're doing. Thank you.