standing together

No One Should Stand Alone

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.

  • To your point in the article? How do I send you an email?

    • Andrew

      There is a little email icon on the top right of our page, under the “connect with us” heading (along with facebook, twitter, and rss). Click that and it will connect you with our email address to contact us. Thanks!

  • Eva

    I loved your story Phil. Thank you for sharing it. I have learned through our own journey, there are too many people who are standing alone. I love that this is a safe place for people to come alongside each other. We need each other. Thanks for doing this.

  • What a great way to help us freshly hear what incarnation means. I am very poor at coming alongside, probably because I still get worried about things on the outside of the dish- what other people think. Thank God for the Devons of the world.

  • Sam

    What a fantastic story! You and Devon understand the incarnation and our role as followers of Jesus. We can’t fix people, but we can stand beside them.

  • Anya Milton

    Thank you! This is so important. I’m incredibly proud to be part of a movement where we can ‘stand together’ for one another.

  • As a Covenant pastor, committed to promote faithfulness in heterosexual marriage and celibacy in singleness, I know it is important to make sure that no one stands alone. Thank you for this important site – and the discussion it fosters!

  • Jonlarson1

    Greg…if gay people cannot marry then they should just be alone their whole life? Seems a little contradictory.