I recently read a thread on an internet forum, in which a young lady was posting about her personal struggle with being attracted to other women, and the depth of shame that she experiences because of it. A very wise woman by the screen-name of “EasterJoy” responded to her, and the response truly captured my imagination.
EasterJoy’s idea is that we are all born with our own constellation of strengths and challenges; she calls this our personal “climate”:
I would think of your particular set of passions not as being good or bad so much as being your local inner “climate.” By this I mean to give you two lessons.
Lesson One: a particular pattern of precipitation, temperature, and other weather conditions can be harder than others to survive in, but can also be the only one that supports particular and unique flora and fauna. Our job is to bloom where we are planted, not complain about the climate. Do not feel shame for feelings you did not ask for., nor resign yourself to face these elements without hope for shelter. Consider that these are a part and parcel of a total make-up that is exactly what God meant you to bring to the world. We are all both a gift and a challenge: to ourselves, to everyone else, and to God. If God wanted the whole world to be the south of France, God could have made the whole inhabited world to be the south of France. As it is, the world is more splendid because God made life so it would prosper and multiply in many places, both temperate and harsh.
Lesson Two: Just because snow storms or tornadoes are rare in a given climate does not mean that they can never happen. It pays to have some plan for “extreme weather events,” to not be either arrogant nor unduly fearful about what you can or cannot feel. Even if the weather is “always nice,” bring what you will need to face the unexpected. (A coat and dry matches are not much against an unexpected storm, but they are far better than nothing!) By this I mean that you should not teach yourself to think that no man can tempt you. The first time we fall in some particular new way, the fall can be very hard. Ever run into a sliding glass door that you did not think was there? Don’t teach yourself to run without looking because you think you know what “can’t be there.” Watch where you are going!
Life can indeed prosper in all kinds of climates — God’s life longs to dwell in all the weather-ravaged places of our human hearts!
(P.S. This brings a whole new meaning to the concept of “climate change”. I wonder what our spiritual pollutants are).