• Pretty much anything I write after this heading would be likely to generate support from one group of people and incite contempt from the rest of the people. This reality makes it intimidating to write or speak publicly on the topic, particularly as someone who values relationships (aka, a people-pleaser). I can only imagine how difficult it is for those experiencing same-sex sexuality (attractions, experiences, orientation, identity, etc.), where the risk is being loved and accepted by one group and shamed and shunned by the other.

    I was asked recently if I was a gay-affirming therapist, and I internally wondered at the question. In general, I can’t think of any client to whom I’ve offered blanket affirmation – gay or otherwise.  We come to therapy because we need help, after all, not just affirmation. Plus, gay-affirming therapy can push in a direction that some clients would not desire.  In reality, most good therapists I know do a decent job of not pushing in one way or the other. But even neutrality is tense in the midst of our current culture.  That is, it is uncomfortable to sit still with someone on the topic of sexual orientation or gender identity because it seems others are looking on waiting to see if you are right or wrong.

    Sitting still in the midst of on-lookers is something I think Jesus did well. I have often reflected on the passage in which Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life in you (John 6:530).” I appreciate the response of his followers – “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”—because I feel the same way! Yet Jesus did not explain, he did not take a theological position, he allowed his followers to walk away, and then fight amongst themselves about this passage in the years since.

    And so, we at Envision try to follow his example – in allowing there to be very hard teachings, in allowing space without clarifying answers, and in allowing clients to take a particular direction. We believe it’s important to provide a place for all folks to come, to be, to wrestle (metaphorically), to try to hear the Spirit, to grow, and to develop. At Envision, we understand that we are all broken in an infinite amount of ways. We believe in and hope for redemption – that God will move us forward from wherever we are at right now. And we accept the limitation that we do not always know how and when the Spirit will lead us to our sanctification.