8. Falling into Place
A Personal Testimony that Proves
Without Doubt that Pigs CAN Fly
Please study this disclaimer before reading further
I've heard testimonies from other people, of course: I've embraced their content whole-heartedly; listened to what they have to say, acted on what they offered; and even applied the principles therein to my own situation. So after four and a half years of struggling with homosexual habits, why was I still not free?
My own situation involved a man called Winston. For and a half years ago, I ran into him amid the chaos of a crowded theatre dressing room, and was at once quite taken by the brash northern front he put up. If ever there had been a case of love at first sight, this was it.
But it was that love which became my undoing; the lust normally associated with a homosexual relationship was not a problem for me - how could one fancy a Lancastrian gibbon who spent 90% of his time falling off a motorbike? I'd been out with men before - that tall guy at college, the lad who fills up the bread shelf at Sainsbury's, the young funeral director I met at Amanda's 18th - you know, the usual odd acquaintances; but Winston was different. As I got to know him better, the love got deeper, and to my delight, mutual. His background was similar to mine, the main difference being that I was a Christian.
It's true, I was. I know I was - my vicar told me. Indeed for a while, between leaving school and meeting Winston, I was almost charismatic. Certainly I had gifts of the Spirit, and a daily devotional time that worked. But après Winston, things fell apart.
A career change came soon after I left college, which brought me to the job I still have with an international mission agency. Being on the administrative team of a Christian organisation, I thought, would be the answer to all my problems. Wrong. It just brought them into sharper relief. It was guilt that got to me first, and that, for the most part, was unfounded. Winston and I never did anything even mildly carnal, but I came to learn that there was more to a homosexual relationship than that. I adored him. I spent all day thinking about him. I WORSHIPPED him. That was the problem.
His nature was not to show great affection, and the fact that he was getting physical satisfaction from other quarters drove me to distraction. No, I still didn't really fancy him - I just wanted him to show some of the affection he seemed to be lavishing on his other partners.
It was time to write to the True Freedom Trust. I couldn't go on the way I was: every morning, turning the key in my office door became an exercise in cold guilt. I couldn't turn to God, because I'd replaced Him with a gibbon on a motorbike. When writing letters on behalf of the office, ending them with "Yours in Christ" became a nightmare. It had to be the TFT. I'd run across them before, but had skilfully avoided them each time. Now a jar or marmalade carrying the TFT slogan (John 3:36), given to me by my boss for Christmas, screamed at me to do something - and so I did.
The first thing I learned from TFT was that God loves me. A simple enough truth, but so hard the first time. God loved me, even though I was distant from Him and thought of Him so little. The next thing I learned was why I had fallen so heavily for Winston. It was that old theory about seeking a same-sex loving relationship that perhaps was lacking from childhood. That fitted. Dad and me have never been all that close, and he and Winston were very similar, both physically and in personality. Understanding this put it all in perspective, but it didn't help. What more could I learn? The fact that Jesus could love Winston more perfectly than I ever could, and that I was to give him over into that love. Fine. I did that straight away. But I still loved Winston as well.
A further two years passed, and I was doing fine. My Christian life had really picked up (the old habit of daily devotional time was back on line), and Winston and I were "just good friends". I loved him, but from a Christian perspective, I let myself believe. Inexorably but imperceptibly the relationship was moving back into dangerous ground: suddenly I was in it again up to my neck. It happened that I worshipped him still, but that he was cooling off. I suppose it might be a testimony to the way God was changing me even then, that Winston did notice the difference in my nature, and that I wasn't always willing to be led astray (Winston, you see, was anything but a Christian). It was getting bad again, and it began to hurt. If God was a God of love, why was I hurting so much? Why was my love for Winston going so horribly wrong?
One night Winston took me to a party. I should have realised we were in trouble when the host opened the door to us in his dress (although why he had a door in his dress I'll never know!). Now it was more of a pain to be with Winston than a pleasure, so I walked out on him. I felt like death. More than that, I had to walk home in the rain. When I got home, the family were in mid-crisis. At the office, a magazine deadline was looming and I had nothing ready to print. My bank manager wrote me a nice letter pointing out that his job was to look after my money, not vice versa. In an effort to take my mind off things, my dentist decided it was time to inflict some gratuitous pain upon my teeth. To cap it all, one of my closest colleagues at work was involved in a motor accident in Spain.
I tend to use the word with caution, but what happened next was miraculous. Over the next few days, five Bible texts were given to me by people who could not have the first idea of my situation, or the context into which the verses were fitting. First, John 15:1-12 - that lovely bit about Jesus being the true vine. If I am to remain in Jesus and Jesus in me, then certain things must be "pruned out". By its very nature pruning hurts, but if we are to grow, then it is vital. Friends "in the know" had said for a long time that Winston was holding me back as a Christian. At the time they said it, I didn't want to know, but now I had no choice but to listen. If God had pruned Winston out of my life, couldn't He have been more gentle? Genesis 40:23 - Joseph has helped restore a servant of Pharaoh into favour. Now that servant had forgotten all that Joseph did for him. The comment delivered with the text was that we shouldn't be surprised when friends let us down: they are, after all, only human. Winston, thick skinned as he was, probably didn't even know he was hurting me.
But God knows I've been hurt. Psalm 139 is about God knowing you inside out. He knows your every thought before you've even thought it. My old guilty conscience used to cringe at that, but if God did know me inside out, He also knew how much I was hurting.
I still couldn't understand why, if love is the greatest Christian virtue, why I wasn't allowed to love Winston. If Winston had been pruned away, what would happen to him? Who would look after and love him? John 21:20 says that the progress of others need not be our concern. Jesus can and will look after them far better than we possibly can: we should be more concerned with keeping ourselves from falling. So if God has it all under control, and is looking after Winston, and loves me, why do I still get hurt at times?
Paul was sent a "painful messenger" to remind him of his dependency on Jesus (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). God says to us all, "My grace is all you need, my power is made perfect in your weakness".
One final blessing - or at least, final to date - I'm preparing now to take a girl out to the theatre. She is a young Christian, with the looks of Princess Di and personality of Eric Morcambe. I like being with her a lot. God only knows what will happen next. But it's all falling into place.
Reproduced with thanks from a pamphlet published by
True Freedom Trust
London SE4 1EF, U.K.
This page was created on 30 January 2001
Last updated on 30 January 2001
Reproduced with Thanks