What I Learned from My Gay Co-Worker

Gaye Clark | October 12, 2015

I have a friend (we’ll call him Mark) who can quote more Scripture than many pastors and rarely misses a worship service at his church. And he’s no passive participant, either. He often peppers his Facebook page with testimonials about the “Spirit’s work” during Sunday services. But on Monday mornings, back at work, Mark sports another testimony. With equal passion, Mark will plainly tell you he’s gay.

On most days when we worked together, Mark wore a Cheshire cat grin, looked in my direction, and made crude references to his private life. For months, I didn’t bite. Some might call my refusal to engage him cowardice, but snarky one-line comments were the only things that came to mind. Besides, I didn’t see the point in talking to someone who was so closed.

Though Mark had never taken the time to talk with me about anything not work-related, he knew I didn’t approve of his homosexuality. He saw me as the epitome of self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and bigotry. And in his eyes, my obvious but unspoken condemnation made me pathetic, bankrupt of “true” Christian love, the quintessential closed mind filled with hate. No point in talking with her.

Our standoff didn’t seem right, but I didn’t know…

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