(My phone rang today and there was a voice I haven’t heard for over four months. It was the gay preacher’s kid I had been speaking with regularly for about half of last year. I had been wondering about him, and this is the latest. He’s in a major spiritual battle. As usual, I’ve edited the actual conversation, but this is the gist of it.)
Him: Hello, Dennis.
Me: Well, hello. It’s been a while since I last heard from you. I’ve been wondering how things are going.
Him: That’s why I called. I really need to talk about something, and you’re about the only person I know I felt comfortable talking to about it. Is that alright?
Me: Of course. What’s on your mind?
Him: (There’s a pause, and then…) A guy.
Me: A guy?
Him: Yes. I don’t know what to do.
Me: Uh…I guess maybe I need some details. What exactly are you talking about?
Him: OK. Do you remember I told you a while back about a guy in college that I had become friends with?
Me: I don’t really remember that. It’s been a while, you know.
Him: Well, I made friends with this guy who was also a Christian. I told you I was able to open up to him about being gay, and that didn’t bother him at all. We met together to read the Bible and pray. He was a big encouragement to me because I felt pretty alone as a Christian who had same-sex attraction. You remember?
Me: Yes, I do remember now that you had mentioned this. Is he still your friend?
Him: Well, that’s the trouble. He’s still my friend, but…
Him: But he’s become more than that. At first he told me he didn’t have any idea what it was like to be gay, but it didn’t bother him that I was. But after a while he started saying things that made me wonder about him, and then one day he came out to me in a talk we were having.
Me: Came out? You mean he told you he was gay?
Him: Yes. And I already felt attracted to him before he told me this. Now I can’t get him out of my mind. I think about him all day and dream about him at night. It’s like an obsession. Actually it is an obsession that I can’t shake. If I was honest, I’d just say…well…
Me: That you’re in love with him?
Him: (After some silence) You just come out with it, don’t you? But yes, that’s what I feel. And I don’t know what to do.
Me: I wouldn’t know what to do either. You’re in a tough spot. Does this guy know how you feel about him?
Him: I haven’t told him anything.
Me: But he told you he was gay. Take it from me, he very well may have told you that as a way of coming on to you.
Him: I know. And I think he was. Which makes it all that much harder to fight. I don’t want to fall into sin. But I feel like it’s inevitable. That’s really why I called. I don’t know anyone else I can talk to about this.
Me: Well, I will very definitely pray for you. Beyond that I don’t have any earthshaking advice for you. You’re in a fierce battle that only the grace of God can save you from. The Bible tells you to flee sexual immorality, but where will you run to?
Him: I don’t know. Maybe I should leave college and go back home where it’s safe.
Me: Maybe. But where will you run to when the next guy comes along? They will keep coming, believe me.
Him: That’s what I’m afraid of. And for the Christian who is attracted to the same sex there is no place to run. A straight guy can run into the arms of his wife when he’s tempted, but not a gay one. I’m trying not to despair.
Me: Sometimes the Christian life is just that…a life of quiet desperation. Sorry to leave you with these words, but I have to get back to work. Lunch is over.
Him: What if the gay Christians are right?
Me: Boy. Andrew, and now you.
Me: Oh, nothing. Just thinking about how life goes, even for Christians. But I really have to go.
Him: Can I call again?
Me: Of course. But as you can see, I don’t have any magic advice for you.
Him: Sometimes it just helps to be able to talk to someone who understands.
Me: True. And I do understand. Call anytime you need to talk.
Him: Thanks. Bye.