Recently I read again the familiar story recorded in II Kings, Chapter 4, the story of the Shunamite woman who fed Elisha every time he stopped at her home. The woman went so far as to make a small room for Elisha to rest in. Elisha, recognizing all the work she had gone through to see that he was comfortable, and wanting to show his gratitude, asked the woman what could be done for her. She mentioned that she did not have a son and that her husband was old. The Lord led Elisha to prophesy that she would bear a son. The woman objected, fearing that Elisha was misleading her…getting her hopes up. In fact, she did have that son within a year’s time. The son grew up, but then became ill and died. The woman was greatly distressed at Elisha for raising her hopes, only to have the son taken away from her. And so she travelled quickly to Elisha and cried out to him.
Moved with a desire to rectify the situation, Elisha instructed Gehazi, his servant, to go ahead of them and to lay his staff on the face of the boy so that the boy would awaken from the dead. Gehazi did as instructed, but the boy did not awaken. Upon arrival, Elisha, himself, went to the boy’s room, shut the door and prayed. Then Elisha got in the boy’s bed and laid on his body—mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself upon the boy’s body it grew warm and was resurrected.
This story is instructive to us on so many levels. But in this most recent reading, God revealed to me in a new, beautiful, and very personal insight, which I want to share with you.
Like the boy in this passage, in my recovery from homosexuality, I needed more than just a ritual or a formula administered through a third party. I needed a person—a man— to invest in a relationship with me. I needed his eyes to look beyond my broken image and to plead with God to awaken the underdeveloped man inside of me. I needed him to tell me what he saw in me that was good and adequate to make good with, but that I was unable to see myself. I needed to see it in his eyes. I needed a man’s mouth to speak words of life to my undernourished soul, to speak words of affirmation, encouragement and hope to the deadened man inside of me. I needed the healing touch of Jesus in human form to make me aware of my worth in God’s eyes. Only a true man of God can reflect these divinely ascribed attributes in another man for a secure masculine gender self.
Men of The Church: I still need your eyes, mouths and hands to affirm me. I think we all need persons of our own gender throughout our lives to be a source of encouragement communicated by eyes, mouths and hands. These days’ people need more than just words about Jesus. They need to see, hear and feel Him. I know that persons with same-gender attraction or who are gay-identified are looking for loyalty, communication, companionship, security, identity, affection— legitimate God-ordained needs. We all can give these springs of life to another from the Source. Our hope is in the Lord, trusting He will provide.
Men of The Church, secure in your identity: We need you to get into the real program. It’s not enough for us to have people just walk by, offer genuine sympathy and promise their prayers. We need you to share your strength, security, confidence, affirmation, compassion, genuine affections, and above all, your joy in Christ. More is required than just a wave of a wand, like Gehazi did in our passage. Your whole person—eyes, mouths and hands—are needed in a Godly relationship with persons with same-gender attractions.
Please, don’t be afraid of us and we won’t be afraid of you. Michael Saia wrote in his book, Counseling the Homosexual, “Their [the persons with same-gender attraction within our churches] hearts are dry for someone to love them without criticism or condemnation, but their cries go unheard because so few people are free enough in themselves to bear the burdens of others.” Let us all trust God to supply all that we need to help our brothers and sisters with same-gender attractions.
Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Christians are completers. That is, through Christ, we create conditions in which people can grow into their potential in Christ. You can carry with us some of our burdens of inadequacy, frustration, confusion, and fear. You can help us! Men and women with same-gender attractions have great emotional deficits and you may be God’s chosen vessels to orchestrate His healing.
Romans 15:7 says, “Accept one another as Christ accepted you.” Will you accept the person with same-gender attraction or who is gay-identified who desires to follow Jesus? How did Jesus accept you? He was not or is not embarrassed to have you come to Him.
Persons with same-gender attraction are healed through relationships: First, a dynamic relationship with Jesus; and secondly, Godly relationships with individuals in the Body of Christ.
When we all stand before Jesus, we will celebrate with Him all the lives lived for Him (I Thes. 2:19). The reason you were saved is to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and then to bear fruit in that relationship, cooperating with the Holy Spirit to journey with other people into a relationship with Him.