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I think what is suggested in this post, and perhaps this whole blog, is not that celibacy or singleness can be made easy, but that it can be made beautiful. The loneliness of celibacy in our culture or at least my Southeastern US culture cannot be satisfyingly resolved at this time, but community can come into it and teach us about grace and love.

Indeed, these may be the three words my soul longs most desperately to hear. You are Other. You are a guest here, not part of the family, that is why I had to clean the house like I never clean for myself and cook like I never cook for myself. I saw your post in another place on the website about walking away from the Church and the capricious sort of God. To be honest, I did too. I come back to places like this to see if maybe they can convince me I was wrong to walk away and comment here and there, but otherwise I am pretty much where you are at on this.

I can understand what you might be feeling I think.

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I realized when I was gay in my late twenties when I fell in love with another man. When I read things like this it sometimes feels they are sort of addressing me and I can feel it rouse my ire. In fact, I sometimes do respond with a bit of an edge to people who seem to be attacking my love or misrepresenting my experience. But this website exists for these folks who are going to live without that connection or completeness in a soul mate. For them, these small bits of companionship and table-scrap affection are all they will have.

Giving up that completing sort of love, regular affection, and someone you can grow old with for a God who will offer no affection, no words of reassurance, and no real comfort outside of what they create for themselves in the garden of their own minds and hearts is not an easy thing. In the case of gay men like Wesley, their lives will likely be shorter as a result of that lack of companionship.

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They are still our brethren, regardless of the roads they choose to take. Wesley, thanks for commenting on the post and sharing your personal stories about friendship and hospitality. It reminds me of the gift I received as a single person before marriage when friends gave me a regular invitation to their family meal time.

The unscheduled, spontaneous nature of that invitation was a great ministry of the Holy Spirit extended to me. Interestingly enough, that experience happened while I was in ministry in the UK, enjoying some of the budget wines at Tesco as well.

July 27 - The New Monasticism :: New Melleray Abbey

I really appreciate this blog. I long to enter into a families life that is capable of such hospitality. For example, I find that I am often in the homes of Christian friends like the ones you describe — messy, but comfortable, full of noisy kids, food, fun, chaos etc. So it can end up being a one-sided-hospitality.

Even, sometimes, to one of the clubs in town because another friend may be DJ-ing there. Many of the Christians I know always seem to want to stay at home with their partners and other couples.

And why they may be hospitable and very warmly welcome me in to share their lives — they seldom share my life in the spaces which I often find myself. Man, I sympathize so much with this! Good thoughts, Wes and ladenheart. Jonathan and Leah Wilson-Hartgrove decided to find out. The author and his wife moved to the Walltown neighborhood in Durham, North Carolina, where they have been answering the door to anyone who knocks.

But far more often there is joy, surprise, and excitement as strangers become friends, mentors, and helpers. Immerse yourself in these inspiring, eye-opening accounts of people who arrive with real needs, but ask only for an invitation to come in. You will never view Jesus and the people he cares about the same way again. With Shane Claiborne he founded the New Monastic movement, which emphasizes an intentional life of prayer, seeking consensus, and engagement in the world.

Jonathan and his wife, Leah, founded Rutba House, a Christian community that welcomes visitors, guests, neighbors, and strangers.

Strangers at My Door: A True Story of Finding Jesus in Unexpected Guests

In addition, he serves as an associate pastor at St. By that I mean the radical inclusivity of Jesus that embraces and fights for the ones mainstream society shuns and abhors and terminates without batting an eye. It is, in short, an invitation for each of us to open our lives to the stranger and become more fully human. The Franciscan 'charism' never dies and always re-emerges in fresh form-because it is the very 'marrow of the Gospel'.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is teaching you how to live that Gospel in our time, and in such fresh and alive ways. Live with them.

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Learn from them. They give me hope that America may yet be born again.

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