I wish everyone could experience the feeling of going where everyone told you it was not possible and finding nothing but hope and potential once you get there.As she often does, Haven takes the words right out of my mouth. My time on the Equality Ride was one filled with tremendous hope and change. In the year since, I'm finding hope and potential all the time.
My parents, who in 2006 told me they weren't sure if they would come to my wedding are interested, ask, and even offer advice about who I'm dating (or not dating). Someone close to me who went to Trinity International for undergrad is finally able to love himself and come out to those around him. California takes its place in US history as the second state to open marriage to all individuals, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. My home state Maryland moves closer to marriage equality and my home county has put in place non-discrimination legislation that protects gender identity. And there's a gay couple on daytime soaps! We are blossoming.
I've been blessed with the friendship of another young man from my church who despite being homeless is always joyful and is working towards a full-time job and hopefully soon an apartment of his own.
I have seen my own faith--once starved by legalistic evangelicalism which held out daily Bible readings, church attendance, and alcohol consumption as the barometer of faith--flourish as I continue to discover what it means to follow Christ.
My friends have modeled how to have hope for themselves and to be hope for others. The news predicts doom, the nations plot war, the elders tell us we are naive but I've never been more certain of the power of good, of God, to rise in this world. And as I read and search, explore and discover, I find that I'm not alone in this feeling. The Simple Way and the Potter Street Community in Philadelphia, PA also journey to where others will not and also finding hope and possibility there. Take a look:
To support the Equality Ride, go here. To support The Simple Way, go here.
Want to do more than just give money? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved with Soulforce locally here in New York (or to get connected with Soulforce in your area). Check out the "Practical Section" of the Simple Way site for things you can start doing yourself or visit Relational Tithe.
And then hurry back here to share your stories of where you're finding hope and possibility in unlikely places and what you're doing to foster that. I'm in serious fact-finding mode right now and am drinking up any stories you've got to share!