In 1994 I was traveling with a Christian artist as he was putting the finishing touches on a new album. One of the tracks on that album was a song called “Emmaus”.
“Somewhere between where you are and Emmaus, the Savior wants to come and walk with you;
Somewhere along the way your heart will be burning, drawn into a holy flame of truth.
Right now he may be a stranger to you; what will he be when the journey’s through?
Somewhere between where you are and Emmaus the Savior wants to walk with you.”
It was two years later that I would be first be invited to attend a “Walk to Emmaus” event. Last weekend, almost another 20 years later – and apparently when the time was just right – I finally was able to go on that walk.
I’m not going to try and describe the weekend here; I couldn’t even if I tried. I will put a link at the bottom of the post where you can learn more about it. I am still processing each thought and moment that came from the three days of being confronted with the Grace and Love of God as genuinely shown through his people. My plan it so process them slowly and make it last. There were a few things that stood out that I do want to share here.
1) Grace trumps bitterness. There had been (and perhaps still is) a great deal of bitterness against the church and church people to which I have tightly held. Being lovingly reminded what the Grace of God can and should look like melted much of that bitterness. I still have work to do, but have a renewed commitment to do it.
2) As I have been told, I was the first transgender person to attend an Emmaus walk. Regardless of whether or not that is the case, I have no doubt I was the first transgender person many of these ladies have ever met. I do know a great deal of prayer and consideration was given to my being there; both for me and for the others attending the walk. It is never my desire to allow my circumstances to take away from the spiritual growth God may be holding for someone else. I greatly appreciate the sensitivity of those planning the event as they prayerfully paved the way for me to be there.
What these 3 days showed me was that Christians are adequately equipped to love each other right where we are without need for judgement, condemnation or even “loving sinners and hating sins”. I felt no hatred of any type this weekend. There may have been some who were uncomfortable around me; but it never showed and as our time together progressed it seemed to fade. (And it’s perfectly understandable, there are times that I am uncomfortable around me!) There may have been some who didn’t understand or agree with my understanding of God and interpretation of scripture; but that wasn’t their priority. As I sit on the other side of this experience, my hope for the faith community has been rekindled.
3) Grace is not idle. Once you have received it, it does not like to sit still. It wants to keep moving through you and on to others. I am excited to see what God has in store to allow that to happen.
(Click here to find out more about the walk.)