I had moments in my past where I could really feel the power of prayer. I could go in my room, close my door, prostrate before God and pray. I would feel God’s presence and know that He is listening to my every word.
There were times that I could play any Christian music and it will uplift my soul. I could listen to Christian music for hours on end and feel the love of God envelope me. Those were ecstatic moments and I miss it.
Continue Reading »
As a teenager, I noticed the difference. I felt like an acorn among a bushel of apples. I didn’t belong. Although I had friends – plenty of friends – I still felt that I wasn’t a part of the group. The only place I felt comfort was whenever I’m inside the church.
You see, the churches where I came from (Philippines that is..) are totally different from the churches here in the United States. Churches are always filled with people even when there is no mass celebration, wedding or baptism. People come to church to pray or simply to be silent and think. Votive lights adorn the altars and whispers of the Hail Mary are heard as you get closer to the people that are in the pews.
The simple truth is, I admired men and it is not acceptable. That is what separated me from my peers. As acceptable as it was in our culture for two boys to walk together with each arms around each other as buddies, I was always afraid that having my arm around a peer that I liked might show some signs that I liked him. I was ever careful about my actions for a slight twist on my wrist would send off signals and I may get teased. The odd thing about this is that none of my peers ever teased me. It was all in my head and I didn’t want to be the brunt of their jokes as they sometimes joked about homosexuals.
I must admit that the teasing mostly occurred at home. My older brothers would tease me because I couldn’t open a jar of mayonnaise, telling me I’m weak as a girl. When I’m asked to do household chores I would hear my brothers say, ‘What’s taking you so long? Only girls take that long to finish what you’re doing!’ Those hurt me the most. The more it occurred, the more I clammed up.
At school, I started meeting new friends. It is an all-boys’ school so I hung out a lot with other boys that are effeminate. The reason? I felt comfortable with them and I know that they wouldn’t tease me. All of us know that gays are funny – - very funny! So, I laughed with them – - a lot! These made my days in school fun.Then I learned from my Religion class that homosexuality is a sin. Having an attraction for the same sex will send me spiraling down to hell. I know that I’m attracted to boys but I keep hearing that it is a sin. I wanted to get rid of my attraction. Night after night I would pray to God, ‘Please Lord, take this feeling away from me!’ But I wake up the next morning and I still felt the same.There were times that I cry myself to sleep after being teased by one of my brothers. ‘You’re gay! You talk like a girl! You act like a girl!’ My mom or dad would normally defend me and ask my brothers to stop. Yet sometimes when they get mad at me, they would even call me names because it is that word that hurts me the most and it is that word that they know would get my attention.I was a good boy. I tried to follow the simple teachings of Christ that I learned in school. I try not to cheat, steal, be disrespectful to my parents, and even help others in need. But there’s one thing in me that makes me feel unclean. That one thing is my attraction to the same sex.To be continued…