Monday, September 29, 2008

Are we Christ for one another?

There is a hymn I like that starts like this, "We are called, we are chosen, we are Christ for one another...". My apologies, I have no idea the name or song writer of this hymn.

I like the idea of being Christ for someone else, but what does that mean?

Obviously there are many interpretations. Mothers and fathers are Christ for their children, they sacrifice in love for the safety and well-being of their children.

Recently, a family member of mine made a rather earth-shattering and life-changing decision and at the same time, a friend of mine I have not had personal contact with in a number of years made a national announcement that took a lot of courage. And I'd like to think that my response to each was, in a way, being Christ.

I'll start with my friend. Back in high school, I was friendly with and worked at the YMCA with a guy named Clayton Grissom. Clayton was kind of nerdy, very loud, very talented and had a voice that sounded like satin. He was amazing. He was funny. He loved kids. And, unfortunately, it seemed he would be "stuck" in our town with his talent put to very little use. One day, my mom asked me if I had ever known Clay Aiken from high school or the Y. No, name didn't ring a bell. "He's on American Idol," she said annoyed with me. I never watched American Idol. So, I scanned it the next time. And there was this guy, boy did he look familiar (American Idol spruced him up a bit by this time), was this the guy she was talking about? Then I heard him start to sing and my jaw dropped. What had Hollywood done to Clayton Grissom? He lost Idol, but went on to the fame he deserved. And in the last couple of weeks, as we all know, he came out on the cover of People magazine as gay. Now, for those who knew him, this was not a shock as Simon Cowell so eloquently put it, "It's like finding out Santa Claus isn't real." Some people may have been put off by it. Some may have applauded it. But for me, it was like the "Clay Aiken" mask had come off a bit and now people could see the Clayton I knew from high school. The guy who wasn't afraid to share his opinion. I felt pride that now the world could see the person I had known. I pray for strength for Clay (as he would still like to be called) as he is going through a great transition as a person and a father. I pray for his friend Jaymes and their baby boy Parker. I pray that he continue to keep the dignity that led him to teach special ed and love kids of all colors and creeds at the Y. I am doing what I hope Jesus would in loving him and praying for him.

I cannot divulge here all of the details of my family member's recent decision. What I can say is that the decision made was his alone and our family is both supportive of him as well as scared for him. I have been praying to Saint Michael to protect him and also praying for spiritual discernment for him. I again think back to high school and the bracelets that were all the rage "WWJD?" Well, Jesus would love him, pray for him, and patiently wait for this person to come to him. And so I do the same. I do not believe this family member made a wrong decision, I just want him to be able to live with this decision.

I hope that I am able to be Christ for all those in my life in some way. Don't you?

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