Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been far too long since my last confession. I have solicited my body for the solicitation of another mans body. I beseech man on top of man to satisfy my search for the love that dare not speak its name…
In Cape Town, you can’t walk down a street without passing a church or some place of worship. It is hard to miss the sheer force of spirituality that the mountain evokes and it is obvious why so many places of praise and solace exist. Visiting the library in town I pulled out the big book, the Bible. Going back into my roots as an unaware little Catholic boy in hopes that the book might provide a surprising perspective on relationships and love albeit with another man. Then it hit me in the face, the idea of Repenting.
How many of us walking around on the earth actually believe to “repent” is to say you are sorry therefore seeking forgiveness? In the broadest sense of the word, maybe on some level, it is correct to term repentance like this however this definition is mostly wrong. Knowing the true definition of "repent" could be a matter of life and death… or so the hectic bible bashers would have you believe. But is there any truth to their madness?
Now if I take out the whole sinner or saint charade. Just egg lift the entire if-you-are-bad-you-will-burn-in-hell fiasco right out of the pan. And look at the idea of repentance, as closely related to the bible as what I can understand and deduce an idea that will help all human beings - regardless of our affiliation towards God or the ridiculous rapture - the idea of repenting is far more beneficial to us growing as individual human beings towards an idea of personal fulfillment, enrichment and enlightenment. Even as gay men in same sex relationships.
So, if we are to look at repentance as asking for forgiveness, does this mean that which we are seeking forgiveness for is something we should in turn regret? Or is it a lesson that should be learnt? Therefore maybe repenting is more a form of admitting that we are actually on the wrong path and not merely needing forgiveness for our missteps.
And with that said I think we reach step one – and really the most important part - in understanding Repenting: Admitting our faults. To admit what we are doing is wrong, and by doing so, changing the actions to come. No point in saying or admitting you’re failing and still you continue to do it. That sort of discourse is more like flailing in the water for help, when you can help yourself. Is the whole idea behind repenting not about seeking change? And change for the better no less?
Keeping in mind this is all in saying that the current path you maybe on is not necessarily a bad one. And change will be good. Therefore the change I speak of is more about choosing something right over something that seems a little wrong. Like dating a good man even though the relationship is not good. He will always be a good man and he will always be wrong for you. Does this mean someone is to blame?
Step two in understanding Repenting has more to do with having the grace to forgive. No matter how big or how small, hate begets hate and the power of forgiveness is probably the most awe-inspiring emotion out of all the emotions we as human beings all possess, yet why is it we see so little forgiveness from one another? We all have the capacity to do so yet we very rarely act on it. Since when did forgiveness and apologizing become a power play of right and wrong? Who is good and who is bad?
And this brings us to number three: humble yourself. As we make the untoward life journey, in the direction of a complete human being, we will find that allowing the bullshit of fault and blame to fall to the background and looking towards tomorrow together, is surprisingly easier than one might imagine. Forgiveness is love and love is a beautiful thing…?
The book speaks to you if you allow it to but I am still not going to let someone preach to me out of it. I will, however, leave you with a quote affiliated with love that really transcends past religious protocol.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”