It was a Sunday morning and I had just preached my heart out in front of the congregation. They were good people, just on the reserved side. If they had been moved in anyway at all I just wish that they would have informed their faces. But they were good people and just because their faces were impassive I knew that at least some of them on the inside were responsive. At any rate I had laid it all on the line that morning and even gave an invitation.
As we sang the invitational hymn I stepped out from behind the pulpit to the center of the chancel, exposed, as absolutely no one came forward. Midway through the hymn I saw a teen age boy in the balcony bolt for the door. No sooner had he left the balcony than the door onto the sanctuary floor burst open and he charged up on the chancel, but instead of coming to stand in front of me, to confess his sin, this young man, stood beside me. He put one arm around me, held up his hymnal and began to sing. Surprised, I asked him – “Devon, why did you to come forward?” He turned and looked at me and said, “Pastor Brockett, I didn’t come forward, I just looked at you standing down here by yourself and you looked so lonely, I didn’t want you to have to stand alone.” Tears came to my eyes – this boy had sensed my loneliness and had come to stand with me.
All week long parishioners in hushed tones asked me about the young man who had come forward – thinking that he had some great crisis or need which motivated him to move so purposefully to the front of the sanctuary. “O he didn’t come forward,” I told them. “He just came to stand with me so that I wouldn’t be alone.” They didn’t know what to make of it, their eyes would drop and the conversation would end awkwardly and maybe a little guiltily because they had no compunction about letting me stand alone and neither had I. It was my job, my calling, my lot in life to call people to response whether it felt good, bad or indifferent. At least that is how I looked at it until that day – until that young man rushed to put his arm around me and stood beside me. In that moment I learned that none of us should ever have to stand alone, for that is what we are here for – to stand with each other, no matter who we are, no matter what our circumstances.
That is why we have started this website so that no longer do our LGBT brothers and sisters have to stand alone. We stand with them for their full inclusion in the body of Christ. “Coming Out Covenant” is intended to be a place for people (straight and LGBT) alike to tell their stories of coming out. I am convinced it is not just LGBT people who need to “come out” – it is straight people too. Every story of “coming out” is also a story of “coming in” to solidarity. And that’s why we’re here, together.
Have a story to tell? email us. We’d love to hear from you and if it fits we will work with you to post it. Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, offer your stories – submit them by clicking the mail button at the top right of our page. Thank you for the over 12,000 hits this site had received in just a week! Be part of the “Coming Out Covenant” because NO ONE should have to stand alone.