It's not a fever exactly but a ball of nerves that set into the pit of my stomach about 30 minutes ago when my dear friend asked me, "So are you nervous?" Dear Friend had read my sermon manuscript earlier this week (the one that I will preach tomorrow). I asked him to do so because I was nervous even then. See, I'm preaching about gay marriage. Not exactly. I'm talking about love -- particularly love that doesn't fit into the one mother and one father stereotypical family -- based in Genesis 12. Dear Friend has been a great cheerleader this week (himself a gay man eager to be wed).
I am not so nervous that I will be kicked out of the church. I don't really think our covenant is that weak. I think we can say truth in love to each other -- and it helps that I really haven't rocked the boat in the pulpit. I've taught classes on torture and fair trade, but for some reason, I talk more about Jesus in the pulpit. Go figure. (And, yes, I know Jesus is an advocate for justice. I hint at this often. But, I rarely go for a hot topic.) Tomorrow, I will talk about something that will make one-third of our body of Christ wince. The rest of them might have an experience of the Holy Spirit. I don't know -- but this isn't what makes me nervous.
The subtext of my sermon is my own hunger for love. I get to be the minister and offer words of blessing upon new love and dance when one of my favorite lesbian couples gets pregnant (I warned her she's in my sermon) -- but somehow, I'm still the single girl. Indulge me in a little whining -- because I'm so happy that you (not you, but you) have found love, but there is this little voice in me that fears that love will not be part of my call. It was part of Abram's call -- assuming it wasn't an arranged marriage -- but I wonder if it will be part of mine. This is what scares me. Tomorrow, without speaking a word, I will put this fear into the pulpit. I will offer it as my barren place -- and this makes me want to stay in bed with a fever.