#6 Does God Hate Me?

It was autumn time. 2007.  I was living in Payson, Arizona serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I had switched my first name for the title of Sister.  I was was Sister Dick for 18 months of my life.  I would gladly and without hesitation give up my first name again for the same reason.

#6 was living with some of his relatives at the time.  He was somewhere in his mid-thirties, had developed very few life skills and was so endearingly sweet and humble.  I just wanted to hug him all the time.  I knew immediately when I met 6 that he was gay.  We visited the family he was staying with every week.  He always sat in on the lessons.  6 was always so very quiet.  He enjoyed our visits.  He enjoyed the lessons.  Sometimes, in his shy way, he would ask a question or two.

One evening when my companion and I were leaving he covertly slipped me a note.  The kind of note that you would pass in the hallway between classes with your friends during high school. Lined notebook paper, folded in half and then in half again.  I do not remember if I waited to read the note until we got back to the apartment or if I read it when we got in the truck.  All I remember is that it was dark outside and what was written in the note devastated me.

I still have the note today.  I treasure it.  Maybe that is weird but I do.  The note showed me that 6 viewed me as someone he could trust.  That he recognized the authority I had as a representative of Jesus Christ.  6’s handwriting was elementary.  The note was written in pencil.  It read,

Dear Sister Dick, I am gay.  Does God hate me?  Am I going to hell?  My dad hates me.  He disowned me.  Is he going to hell because of how he treats me?  6

 

I read 6’s note and reread 6’s note.  I cried myself to sleep that night.  The next day I called him to set up a time my companion and I could come by and talk to him.  My companion had no idea how to move forward, how to respond to 6.

I did.

 

Gay men and the forest

Conversation that happened yesterday.

Me: I saw Jekyll and Hyde over the weekend.  It was awesome.  I really really REALLY really want to be in a show again.

Friend:  No you can’t.

Me: Why?

Friend: You do not need another gay man.  Gay men are like ticks and the theatre is the forest.  You are going to walk into the forest and they will attack all your bare spots.  No show.