On the last post about homosexuality we’ve had some of the best sharing we’ve ever had on my blog. If you are struggling or love someone who is, I encourage you to read the thoughtful responses. I want to continue, but take it in another direction.
This last weekend I had a wonderful group of young widows at my cabin, led by Miriam Neff, who is in this picture, enjoying the beauty of Door County, Wisconsin. She is a widow of three years and her pain has enlarged her soul, (as pain can when we press into God), for Miriam has formed a wonderful ministry to widows from Chicago to Africa. Learn more about it from WidowConnection.com
When Paula, another young widow, took this picture of her, it made me think about how when we are surrounded by God’s beauty, we get a taste of Eden, a taste of the way things are meant to be, and one day, will be again. I’ve been listening to sermons by Tim Keller and Rob Bell on Genesis 1 which have stimulated my thought. Both say Genesis 1 is a poem, a song, with the repetition of a song: “It is good. It is good. It is good.” (Tim Keller is on redeemer.com – in the sermon store, type in Genesis 1 or homosexuality and you’ll find good bread for your soul. Rob Bell is on marshill.org)
The Trinity was dancing, the morning stars were singing, and it was good, it was good. Then, when the Trinity said, “Let us (notice the us) make man in our image, and the Triune God made male and female.” Male and female, together, reflect the image of God, something a same sex pairing cannot do. When you have only one gender, it is incomplete — it is not good. God’s plan was for one man and one woman to come together in marriage for life — that is a more complete and true reflection of the image of God.
But what happens when you are widowed, and you are alone — and God may not provide another mate? Or if you are single, have always longed to be married, but it simply hasn’t happened. Or what happens if you have been sexually abused as a little girl and have no desire for a relationship with a man, and yet you long for intimacy with another person. Does that change God’s plan?
No — it is still God’s plan for sexual intimacy to occur only between one man and one woman within the covenant of a marriage until death. I know God can provide a husband for the widow or the single woman if He chooses, or give her a peace about living a celibate life and finding intimacy through friendship, and intimacy with Him. He’s doing it for me and I saw Him, this last weekend, do it for this team of young widows from Chicago, some who were widowed in their thirties.
I also know He can provide healing for the person with homosexual desires. I loved Elizabeth’s testimony in the last post — and I could share so many others. Tim Keller tells of a person who was about to undergo a sex change operation, came to Christ, found healing, and is happily married to the opposite sex. With God, nothing is impossible. But it is also possible He may call the person with homosexual longings to live a celibate life, finding strength in God in her weakness, and, like the celibate widow, find solace in friendship and in Him.
Yet God is bringing us back to Eden. It is our responsibility to do what we can, with our gifting, to restore Eden — whether that is providing justice and compassion to widows, as Miriam’s group is doing; or writing compassionately and wisely on this blog, as so many of you are doing; recyling and planting trees; making our homes a place that is clutter free and beautiful, a haven with candles and love for your family and friends and strangers; giving generously to help feed the hungry or provide justice for girls captured in the sex trade; or choosing to trust Him and abandon ourselves to Him, not matter how hard the road initially, knowing it is the only road that will lead to peace and joy.
Please keep sharing here. Tim Keller draws another application from “It is not good for man to be alone,” and that is that we learn in community. Did you see, in the last post, how Journeyvision learned in community — and even Jenny, who had been persuaded by the world that it is unloving not to endorse homosexuality, was listening — if not yet persuaded. We learn in community. We need each other. And we each have a responsibility to answer prayerfully before God. Please answer any of these questions or introduce a new one:
What do you think about the picture of Genesis 1?
How is God leading you to bring back Eden?
How is God bringing healing to you if you are one who is or who has struggled with homosexuality?
If you are living a celibate life for whatever reason, how is God helping you to do that?
Your sharing is rich and wonderful, and I am praying for you as you share.