You’re Not Sick Rev Dr Durrell Watkins Pride Sunday In today’s gospel, Jesus experiences what so many of us have experienced. He thought he would be welcome, but because of who he is, he is made to feel unwelcome. I bet almost everyone in this room at one time or another has been rejected, unwelcome, […]
You’re Not Sick
Rev Dr Durrell Watkins
In today’s gospel, Jesus experiences what so many of us have experienced. He thought he would be welcome, but because of who he is, he is made to feel unwelcome.
I bet almost everyone in this room at one time or another has been rejected, unwelcome, or vilified because of who you are.
After Jesus is rejected, the story shows people who kind of want to follow Jesus, you know, after they take care of other things…some of the things actually very important.
But Jesus basically says, “You’re either ready for this journey or you aren’t. You need to decide.”
We have to decide if we are going to heal from the pain of the past and help create a better future for more people.
Are you ready to be healed and to be healers?
I want the church, this church, to help people embrace their healing and share healing with a world in need. Because sadly, the church has often not offered healing; instead, it has caused a lot of the pain from which we need healing.
It wasn’t the church that helped me embrace my wholeness and celebrate my truth. It was divas.
I found my maleness in women characters. I found my queerness in straight characters. I found my affirmation in the words of fictional characters come to life on stage and screen. I later learned that many of those characters were created by gay writers. These divas didn’t just happen to speak to me; they were meant to!
These women represented a mixture of realities that turned power dynamics upside down. It was so queer, so different, so empowering, so holy.
Strong women. Bending gender expectations. I identified with those women. They weren’t only women…they were Gender non-conforming. They were a Challenge to toxic masculinity. They were a witness that it was Okay to live out loud, to be bigger than preconceived limitations. They showed there is Strength in difference.
Bea Arthur/Vera Charles (Mame) challenge gender norms- The man in the moon is a lady, a lady in lipstick and curls; the cow that jumped over cried jumpin’ jehovah, I think it’s just one of the girls!
Carlotta Campion (Follies) celebrating her survival skills – I’ve run the gamut A to Z, three cheers and damnit c’est la vie, I got through all of last year and I’m here. God knows at least I was there and I’m here!
Ethel Merman/Perle Mesta. Mesta was a real person – (a widowed socialite known for extravagant parties in DC; she supported the ERA, and she was appointed amb to Luxembourg by Harry S. Truman. She inspired the musical Call Me Madam. In that show, Perle sings to a love sick young soul – You’re not sick you’re just in love.
Learning to love yourself.
Learning to embrace your truth.
Learning that others’ condemnation of you isn’t something you have to accept.
Learning that love is a gift, and that who we are is a beautiful part of the diversity of life.
learning that what makes a relationship holy isn’t the number of Y chromosomes involved.
Divas, women with whom I identified more than with any man, were the prophets speaking the word of God to me, the word of hope, the word of healing…until I could hear the divine voice within my own soul.
One evening, at a Pentecostal prayer service, I begged God to heal me of my same-gender attractions. I had begged many times before, but this time, at an altar call, in a prayer filled service, I practically demanded that God fix me. And in that life-changing moment, I heard within myself the answer to my prayer: “Not even God can heal what is not sick.”
Maybe it was the wisdom of my subconscious, maybe it was the breath of the ancestors…but whatever it was, the words that came to me forever changed my life. NOT even God can heal what is not sick.
But I had heard that already…the grand diva, Ethel Merman, playing Perle Mesta had already told me that love was a blessing, not a sickness.
Not even God can heal what is not sick.
You are God’s miracle and not God’s mistake.
You’re seeking love in the way that is true for you, and when you’re lucky, you find it.
This is the good news.