I’ve been thinking about a ladyboy we met in Thailand who was running an AIDS and TB home for the destitute and dying. She told us the messy story of her childhood being raised as a girl and all the prostitution and drugs and AIDS contraction during a time when no one really knew what AIDS was. But then she told us the beautiful part where her Christian friend would invite her to church and she would listen to the music and cry because she knew Jesus was real and that he probably loved her. After a while she gave in and finally let God love and change her. I liked her word choice. Salvation to me has always seemed to be an constant apprehending as to which transformation comes when we essentially give up.
I walked away feeling that this woman was loved and living out exactly what God had for her. Note I’m still calling her a woman. Note she was born a man. She does not live a sexually immoral lifestyle anymore, but still dresses and acts like a woman. I was happy to have experienced a liberation from a subconscious conservative agenda that would say this woman is a man and thus should live suit and tie as God created him to live. God challenged me on my notion of change and I figured I’m probably not supposed to be a transformation planner for my own life or the lives around me. Here is a new little insight.
Maintain justice and do what is right for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.” And let not any eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.” For this is what the Lord says: To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant– to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.
There are lots of ladyboys in Thailand. Lots. I don’t exactly know why. Sometimes parents even raise their boys as girls. This was the case with my friend. She didn’t make the initial decision to live this way. In my wikipedia research on eunuchs, I found that a lot of people did not choose castration. Rather it was often forced at an early age for a variety of disturbing reasons.
This passage is another example of God saying for the billionth time it’s not about what you do, it’s about your heart. How awesome that God didn’t leave my friend alone in a decision that really wasn’t hers. And even if it was, it wouldn’t matter. The point is God meets you where you are. Foreigners, eunuchs, ladyboys, Thai, American. The attitude of resting your mistakes and failures on God’s redemptive righteousness is the stem of change. The purest change is instigated and defined only by God. I should probably leave my opinion out of it.