Bluffton Safe Space: Reflections on Love Across the Spectrum conference part 3

I am so glad I went to the Love Across the Spectrum conference. I found it to be an incredibly valuable experience for so many reasons, but there’s one in particular that I think would be good to share. My hometown is in southern California, and it’s so much easier for me to identify as gay rather than Christian. In any case I find it difficult to call myself Christian because I always feel like I’m missing something. Sitting in church, it seems like everyone else is there because something has touched them, something clicks for them that I don’t understand. I feel like identifying myself with the Christian faith would put me in a position where I’m lying about that feeling that I’ve never experienced before.

It seems whenever I tell this to anyone, they are very encouraging in my struggles, they tell me that I should keep questioning. I suppose it’s nice to know I’m not doing something wrong, but I’d like to get it right at least some of the time. At least one or two answers would be nice. What questions should I even be asking? Suffice it to say I question my faith a lot. I’ll admit to not being entirely comfortable going to the conference because of that fact. However, at the very end of the conference, during closing worship, I think that may have changed a little.

Listening to Amy DeLong preach was an experience all in its own. Her story gives me so much hope, and somewhere halfway through the sermon, I realized that this must be what people were talking about when they called themselves Christian, this feeling in me, brought out by Amy’s words, must have been what it meant to have a connection with God. It was odd. There wasn’t any fanfare of excitement that followed, just a very calm comforting realization. This must be it. It was beautiful, and I feel I understand what it means to be Christian at least a little better now.

I have to thank Pink Menno for this, because without their contribution I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to the conference, and would have missed out on the whole experience. So thank you, Pink Menno, for bringing me that much closer to the answers we all may be looking for.

~Mackenzie Hoeckley