Rev. John Kirkley of San Francisco, recently in the news as one of two openly gay priests in the Episcopal Church to be nominated for bishop, is also a blogger. I’ve known John since my days in Chicago when I met him and his future husband Andrew before they moved to the Bay Area, and I’m proud to call him a friend.
His recent post on the theme of marriage is particularly intimate and reflective. Here’s a part:
Now, I had been told by a spiritual director a decade ago that “God doesn’t call us to competing vocations.” I knew in my head that my marriage was part and parcel of my spiritual journey and its fulfillment, part of my calling to become more fully human in the way of Jesus. But I didn’t really make the heart connection until the past six months.
What I realized anew was the way in which Andrew and I have become more fully human, more fully our selves, through the process of mutual listening and mirroring that is the heart of our conjugal spiritual practice. Something about the public nature of this discernment, and the way in which we both showed-up for it, allowed me to see Andrew as other than an extension of myself. I saw him as a poised, mature, engaging, centered adult with his own gifts and distinct personhood. And I really liked what I saw!
At the same time, I was humbled and gratified by the realization that I was able to show-up for this process with a sense of integrity, in part, because of the conjugal practice that has shaped me – that has made me more fully myself. Our marriage isn’t about being complimentary, much less co-dependent, but rather about being more fully self-differentiated, alive, and present. And it is precisely on the basis of this self-differentiation that we are able to be more truly connected to one another – more in love in the best sense of that phrase.
Read the whole post.
Which, in my opinion, is as beautiful a sentiment of homophilia as one can find. Love of another as a “mirroring” self that is also fully “self-differentiated”, resulting in greater depth on all levels of one’s being; simultaneously an inner experience, outer reality, and public fact.