I know it sounds cliché, but I would not be where I am if not for my faith. The practice of my faith provides me with comfort and peace. I look back and truly wonder how I made it. The only answer I can come up with is God. I am truly living on faith.
I was brought up in a small family church. My grandparents and I would have Bible study at home and every Saturday night we would go over our Sunday school lesson for church the next day. Religion was taken very seriously in our household.
I am a hospital chaplain. Well, the technical title is “integrative chaplain.” That simply means that the hospital recognizes that people have various ways of expressing spirituality and faith. Though we are all Christian, we do not limit ourselves to Christian practices. I recently recited the Shema with a Jewish patient. As a chaplain, I try to spiritually and emotionally support patients and families. Sometimes it’s prayer. Sometimes it’s walking with them to the cafeteria. As a chaplain, we are sometimes asked to baptize patients, especially children and babies. We have officiated funerals and commitment ceremonies, and we preach sermons for hospital chapel services. Everything a “regular” pastor does, we do just in a hospital rather than a church building. I truly believe this is where God wants me to be.
My faith informs me that there is nothing about me that was not made by God and, for me, that includes my sexuality. I didn’t choose to be gay anymore than I chose to be Black or a woman. I am this way because God made me this way.
My sexuality affects the way I see, hear, and apply the Word of God. It is because I am gay that I make sure I’m a visible face in the congregation. God uses whom God chooses. I don’t do what I do simply because I’m gay. I do it because I am called.
-Reverend Eronica C. King