“I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ You are my people!”
Hosea 2:23

Everyone has memorable moments, big and small, which intermittently pop up in their minds throughout their
whole lives.  Some people these days call their idea moments “aha” moments, when something gels together
in their head like a light  being switched on in a dark room.  While having lunch outdoors today in the balmy
weather, we couldn’t help but notice a little bird chirping away, changing its tune over and over,
happy as can be, singing all alone without a care in the world.  God’s delightful little creation.

I was reminded of a moment on Kaanapali, Hawaii many years ago.  It was the morning after a late arrival at
the Sheraton Maui the evening before, with my being thrilled with the oceanside room, and having left the
patio doors to the balcony open all night so that we could sleep with the breeze caressing us.  Perfect
weather Hawaii style.  When the Pacific sun awakened us early the following morning, a bird had flown into
the room.  It was hopping around on the floor, singing to its heart’s delight, either oblivious to us or it really
didn’t care one way or the other, and it became one of those unforgettable moments for me.   

Both of these seemingly insignificant events occurred when I was with my partner Vince, and now the third
one finds us lying poolside at the Western Hotel on the island of St John in the Caribbean.  Opposite side of
the continent; different yet similar.  It was the afternoon before our stay was up.  A group of playful gays and
lesbians had arrived and were splashing and having a good ole time.  Drinks were plentiful and I believe
some of them were for the first time experiencing swimming across the enormous pool and ordering a tropical
drink from the bar while treading water, and then managing the one-armed balancing act while returning
to their poolside place of origin.  

Sleep overtook me for a while, as will happen in such ideal circumstances.  A modest sized palm tree was
beside me, near to my head.  I wouldn’t have been so close to the tree, but space was a premium around the
pool where the “action” was, and so be it.  When I opened my eyes, a large iguana had descended the
palm’s trunk, had settled near my head, and looked me right in the eyes.  A grown man hates to admit
something like this, but I was nervous.  I was not iguana savvy and this was too close for comfort.  
Would it attack me?  Apparently no.  But what did I know?  Needless to say, that otherwise humdrum moment
has never left me.

When did the gay community wake up from its meandering existence and realize the gravity of
Hosea’s statement?  Actually it wasn’t his.  It was God’s.  Everyone told us we weren’t God’s people.  
Trust me, they still do.  But God says we are.  Jesus died for every one of us who puts his or her trust in the
great free gift of salvation, recognizing the horrifying torture and death Jesus endured on the cross
at Calvary, taking our place.  

No way can we work it out ourselves.  God is way too holy to allow our nonsense and rebellion into His
presence.  His glory is so pure and powerful that we will never, even in heaven, be able to live if we are that
close to God.  Will we be able to see Him from afar?  Absolutely.  Ezekiel did.  He saw a high mountain with a
man sitting on top of it.  That’s God.  The throne is like a mountain, over 1000 miles high, and way up there is
where God sits.  They tell us we are not His people, but guess what – we are!  He tells us so.  
We are very special to Him.  Enjoy your new found freedom because of Christ.