Okay. I have a favour to ask. I would ask that you meet me here, in this moment, in this place. Sit and witness, if you will.
Before I left on the April road trip of my Patreon project, I did something bold, something daring, something deeply healing to myself, something intrinisc to my personal journey. I submitted my application to attend Meadville-Lombard Theological School as an M.Div candidate.
I stopped somewhere in Utah to check my reservation for the night, and found two emails from Meadville. The first email I read talked about institutional aid, and the second email opened with these words:
It is with great joy that I write to inform you that your application to Meadville Lombard Theological School has been accepted! On behalf of the Admissions Committee and the Student Services Office, I would like to welcome you to the 2016 Entering Class and the learning community at Meadville Lombard.
I had been accepted into seminary. This undergraduate degree-less mentally ill queer trans woman was accepted into seminary, and is being allowed to start the education and training for my real career – ministry.
I was stunned. After I finished crying in the car some while later, I got back on the highway and headed towards Hurricane, Utah. The entire time I was thinking about two things: one, that I had deemed 2016 the “Year of Risk”; and two, that Simon had told me 2016 is a year of completion, according to numerology (2+0+1+6=9).
Here I was, in Southern Utah for the first time in thirty years, and I have almost come full circle. I’m back on my original career track – the one I never lost my passion for – and nearing the completion of my transition. My Chrysalis is opening, and my Fourth Day is not far off. I have come home, truly, and I am overcome with joy.
The outpourings of support on Facebook and from my home congregation at Tree of Life have been more than I could have imagined. My family – both blood and chosen – have been overwhelming affirming, and are excited to share it with me.
In Abba’s Child, Brennan Manning wrote that “our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh when we learn where the outcast weeps.” By acknowledging the brokenness within me, recognizing the brokenness without, I learned to start celebrating the humanity in us all.
I am – and always have been – called to look for the broken. I have been broken, utterly and completely, and I know what it is like in those dark places. To know your own broken parts is to know how to heal others. If I am called to serve, then so are we all. After all, it’s not just I that asks how to serve, it’s all of us who should be asking “How can we not serve?”
Postscript: A long time ago in a galaxy far away, a friend once gave me this advice: “You’ll never understand it all, so don’t try. Love, enjoy the journey, do good, and love some more.” He was an amazing human being, and I learned so much from him and his music. I’ll leave your with this video, which is one of my favourite compositions by him.