This is a personal piece with some thoughts I had the other day. I never intended this blog to be somewhere for me to post these kinds of things but I was in a bad place and found that it really helped writing it all down. Also I guess it helps provide a bit of honesty and integrity behind the theological ramblings.
In my life I have realised that I inhabit dark places.
Places that fall outside the “mainstream” and kosher parts of society. The Goth and metal and punk and fetish scenes. The pubs and bars and dives of the world that most “norms” fear to go because they don’t want to be seen in or”catch” anything from.
The dark isn’t a bad place to be. I have developed into a normal, fully functioning member of society, as have thousands of others who find themselves at home in these places.
But sometimes the dark is a difficult place to be. The darkness can be overwhelming. It can be smothering. It can hold us down and make us lose ourselves. I felt that happening to myself and so looked for a way out.
The Light helped me find myself and added to what the darkness had already created.
I suppose you could argue that it’s like some sort of Eastern philosophy of synthesis between light and dark if you really want to. It’s nice, it feels safe.
I love walking in the Light, it’s my reason to be on this Earth. To share the Light and help people discover that it is available for all and does not have to impede upon their lives or force them to conform or become something they are not.
I decided to leave the dark and inhabit light places; The Church and my Theological College. Only there I found that certain aspects of my character were not welcome. There are deeply inherent parts of who I am as a person, the person who God loves, that would be seen not only as bad or undesirable, but as positively Evil, Satanic and ungodly. I found the places of light hostile places to be in. The kinds of experiences “norms” would have in my places I found in theirs. I would go so far as to say it was actually the light places were I feel the darkest. It’s not just dark places that cast shadows, even the light has shades in my experience.
Following my experience I did what all people would do, I retreated back into my safe, dark, place.
I went back to my friends only to find that a lot of them also created shades and negative darkness in my life. Most of my friends are not Christian and that’s ok, actually its great. I love that I can inhabit the post-Christendom world with ease. But a large section of my friends are actively hostile to Christianity and fill my social media feeds and conversations with uneducated, anti-religious diatribes. I have no issue with non-Christians, or anti-religious theory and conversation, it’s just the mindless regurgitating of half-arsed ideas shared on social media with a single click that gets to me.
In other places I used to inhabit I often found people not quite hostile, but confused and disturbed by my training to be a minister and wondered what a Christian was doing in “their” places.
As part of my future ministry I bought a load of merchandise from the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. I feel that God is going to send me into places where I will be dealing with people in the same position as me and believe that a Christian minister wearing this stuff will send a hugely positive message to people. The wristband I bought had the words Freak Mosher Weirdo written on it.
As I sat looking at it I realised that that is what I am.
I am a Weirdo amongst the Weirdos.
I don’t fit neatly into either the light or the dark scenes. I am a fetishist who wears nothing but black and listens to satanic music but is training to be a priest. And I am a trainee Preist who listens to satanic music, wears nothing but black and is a fetishist.
If I tell Christians about what I am in to they freak out and say I can’t do that and be a Christian, yet if I tell my non-Christian friends my future career they freak out and say I can’t be a Christian and be into that stuff.
I find it kinda ironic that both factions in my life would label those on the other side wierdos or freaks or outsiders. Both groups spend so much of their time complaining about being ostracised or neglected or pushed from the public sphere, but they are both more than happy to do the same to others they feel are incompatible.
As much as I actually quite enjoy being a weirdo amongst the weirdos it can be a very difficult and lonely place to be.
My good friend Bingo quoted me something which helped though “the Darkness is not dark with Him” I guess that’s what I hope to teach people with my lived example. Jesus was a wierdo, and a freak (and maybe even a mosher), He didn’t fit in, and by being both Human and Divine inhabited two planes of existence most would say are incompatible.
I guess I’ve just got to hold on to that.
Embrace being a Wierdo amongst the Wierdos and seek out those who love both sides of me and understand the paradox they see before them.