The Pain of Enlightenment
· Rev. Doug Van Doren, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
· Mary DeRidder, PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
· Rev. Jim Lucas, Gays in Faith Together (GIFT)
This morning I received an email from one of my volunteers relating the following story:
“After the movie, there was an older man in the lobby crying because he was ashamed of his church and of his Christian friends and how they have treated members of the LGBT community. I was able to talk with him for a little while and gave him a couple of numbers and websites to check out. Needless to say, he walked away from the movie with some new convictions and support contacts.
He was feeling torn between his upbringing and church and his devotion/acceptance of a couple of his gay friends. He left feeling much more confident and secure about his friends and the LGBT community in general. What a wonderful thing Triangle Foundation, Wealthy Theater, and all involved gave to this elderly man!”
This is a wonderful story and exactly the reason we do the work we do! Speaking from experience, I can say that the price of enlightenment is often – as the gentleman last night experienced – PAIN.
After my son came out to me, I gave him a card and said to him,
“Your coming out IS a crisis for our family. But the crisis is not that you are gay. The crisis is that we have to ask ourselves why our lives have not been more supportive of the gay community and that is very painful.”