Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Windsor Baptist Church, Martyn Joseph, my wife and God

Back in October I went along to a barn dance organised by St Mary’s Church in Ash Vale.

In a convoluted kind of way this led on to something new, and surprisingly wonderful, for me.

Sally, my wife, asked if I’d like to go along to a Martyn Joseph concert at Windsor Baptist Church.

I’d been along to a few of his concerts before, and wrote about one of them here. But  that had been as Andy rather than as Andrea.

When Sally asked me I said, well maybe I could go as Andrea. And she said yes, why not?

So that’s what I did.

Overall the evening was remarkably moving for me.

Sally knew quite a few people that were planning on going. Andy knew quite a few people. The quite a few people had heard of Andrea. But none of them had met her.

So in a way, for me, it was another step along the path of coming out. Being free to be myself.

And, perhaps, in a way for Sally as well.

There was scope for nervousness for us both.

People didn’t seem to bat eyelids.

As I sat there just before the music started, one of the people that go along to the church came over and said “I just came over to say hello and to give you a kiss.” She gave me a kiss on the cheek. “I can’t put into words how it feels in my heart for you to be here”.

I had met her before, and chatted a little bit. It was a special welcoming moment.

The music, the lyrics were great.

I talked with people that I already knew and they began to get to know me again.

From a spiritual perspective I was surprised.

I really don’t know what to make of God. I remember that evening listening to the music, and the lyrics. And looking up at the words on the wall at the front of the church. It says God is Love.

I sat and wondered. What is love?

These are questions that I thought I knew the answers to.

Talking with Frank and Jane during the interval about churches and people and experiences. Not all of them good experiences. I think it was Jane that said, really it’s only about that … pointing to the front of the church. The words. God is Love.

I went to get some drinks. The girl serving the drinks asked me what nail polish I was wearing as she liked the colour, and helped me carry the drinks back to our seats.

Once the music was over I helped clear the chairs away. High heels don’t make that any easier.

I went to thank Martyn for the evening. He smiled and hugged me. We talked a short while and said goodnight and hugged again.

For me the evening was special. There was the music. And first hand experience of more people who are involved in a church that don’t have hang-ups about a person that is trans.

It gives me with a sense of hope.

In a way it should all be an unremarkable thing. Why should people have hang-ups?

But in fact, many people do.

And it brightens my day to meet people that don’t.

It makes a difference to me.

So thank you to people at Windsor Baptist Church and St Mary’s Church in Ash Vale. To Sally. To Martyn Joseph.

For opening up the world a little bit more to me. And for making the possibility of God more possible.

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