Why me Lord………Why me
For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be Psalm 139 13-18 NIV
I love this passage from one of the psalms of David. It is a passage I return to time and time again. What a wonderful confirmation. GOD MADE ME THE WAY I AM. God knew I was gay even before I was born. I praise God for my Life.
I was brought up in a God fearing Brethren home. My early life was centred on the church .I had a strict upbringing. Our family was a large one. I was the eldest with 5 younger sisters and 1 brother. There was 5 years between myself and my next sister. So I always seemed on the outer. As I didn’t know my father until I was 5 (due to the war) I was starved of male love. When he arrived it was I that put up a barrier. Who was this male that was coming between me and my Mother whom I adored. I don’t know if this had anything to do with being Gay but now I look back on my life I always seem to have Gay traits as far as I can remember. Sex was never spoken of within the family. I grew up completely innocent. My father I never saw naked. The only remembrance of my puberty years was the shock of finding hair growing in unusual places of which I was very self conscious about and when changing in swimming sheds at school I would hide myself from others seeing me. I also found it very pleasurable playing with oneself. One day my father caught me at this. He straight away bundled me into his car and drove me to our doctors home(it was around 9 pm)and quoting scripture told me he was going to get the doctor to cut off my hand.. The scripture came from the gospels “if your hand offend the cut it off”. You can understand the effect this would have on a young lad. I became very screwed up as far as sex was concerned.
My father died when I was 18.He was only 49.Shortly after he died I left home and like the prodigal son in the bible went up from the country to the lights of the city. I tasted the high life and found it pleasing. I did the usual things that a young lad did but nothing sexual .Quickly things of God disappeared. I started drinking smoking and mixing with the wrong crowd. I was 23 when I had my first taste of the delights of sex. I still did not know that much about it .I found myself on one of the “Gay Beats” in Auckland. I was approached by this older guy who took me for coffee. That was the beginning I enjoyed his company. I was still innocent. I did not know of homosexuality as such as coming from a much guarded life and not being taught the facts of life (this was quite the norm in the 1950s).
My next step was a 2 year relationship .This was wonderful here was a man that loved me (something my father never gave me). He was interested in me as a person. It is sad that it did not last. Being young in my sex life I wanted more. So next stop Australia and Kings Cross.
Wow my eyes were opened. Did I enjoy myself? Sex was on tap and we were now into the swinging sixties. The only thing something was missing. I wasn’t fully content.
I returned to New Zealand. Back in Auckland I met him. It was a love that lasted for 35 years. Yes Gay can have long lasting relationship. He was 9 years my junior. We travelled the world together. And returned to settle in Auckland. It was the late 1970s and my mother was in very ill health. When she died I found myself looking at my faith again but this time I became very involved with the charismatic movement. I became involved with the Metropolitan Community Church in Auckland .A Gay orientated group of Christians. The problem I had there was that the word was out no other church groups would accept Gay. It was like a gay Ghetto church. I wanted to be able to worship my God with other Christians no sexual connotations involved. It was so sad that sexual orientation should divide the church. In my bible Jesus dwelt among all type of people. He never said anything about sexual orientation. I worshipped with the AOG church in Queen Street for 2 years. Still the church made you feel dirty because of sexual orientation. They loved us as the sinner but did not love the sin.
About this time my partner and I went into business together. I had learned to decorate cakes and started a company in Auckland. My company was a little different in that the cakes were sculptured. One day a customer came in and asked for an unusual design they wanted the cake in the shape of the male appendage. This changed the business altogether. People saw the cake and the idea pyramided .We changed our address and the name of the company. The Rude Food Cake Company arrived and the address was right in the middle of the red light district of Auckland. The flesh set in again, the things of God disappeared. We became quite famous. TV Film crews from all over the world converged on us. The business ran for 10 years. During this time I had a nephew who had trained for the ministry. He would pop in from time to time and his first sentence to me was” I’m praying for you Unca Muzza”. We would both laugh. But no really he was praying that I would find Jesus in a real way.
Then it happened. God intervened. I was found to have an aneurysm of the Aorta. I had to walk out of my business as I was the only one able to decorate the cakes. I had open heart surgery I had a graft on my Aorta and an artificial Aortic valve replacement. Shortly after the operation I suffered 2 minor strokes down the left side. I was unable to continue my business. Also due to my health problems I had to look at my relationship. I could not expect my partner who was 9 years my junior and still quite active to sit around and watch me deteriate. My partner found a wonderful new friend. I was happy in that he had found a new loving partner and I still had many friends.
This was now 2005. God was about make big changes in my life. My partner and his friend decided to sell up in New Zealand and settle on the Sunshine coast in Queensland. In doing so He wanted to sell up his half of the property we had together. He and his friend asked me would I like to accompany them to Australia as they had found a property in the hinterland with a small cottage on the land completely separate from their house. I had always thought of retiring in Australia. I immediately said yes.
Shortly after arriving I was rushed down to Brisbane by Helicopter to the Royal Brisbane Hospital it was found I had a sub Dural Haematoma (a bleed in the brain). I needed urgent surgery. My doctor told me at the time I was between a rock and a hard place. All he could advise me was that I could have a massive stroke while on the table or I could die from the bleed. I felt at complete peace, I now know that it was God that gave me this. The operation was a success but I would have to return in three months. I returned in three months to find that I had had a further bleed so another operation. Peace again. I now know that it was faithful Christian family praying for me. Remember I was still far from my Lord.
Then it happened. I was driving up to Buderim one day and I heard a voice say audibly “Murray I want you here on Sunday”. I turned my head and there was a church. You wouldn’t have noticed if you just driving on the road it was well set back from the road. It was also the same denomination of my childhood and of the family. It was a Gospel Chapel (Plymouth Brethren). I attended on Sunday and the Love I felt from those that attended. I felt very much at home. Now this is where the miracle happened. I was introduced to the Pastor who came from New Zealand. It turned out that he took his training in Dallas Texas. I knew that my nephew also did his training in Texas. I rang my sister who lives in New South Wales and asked her where Malcolm trained she said Dallas Seminary in Dallas. I asked her did she know of an Alan Stanley .She advised me that one of Malcolm’s best friends in Dallas was Alan. Was God working? Malcolm was the nephew that used to visit me in my shop in Auckland and tell me he was praying for me.
After attending Buderim for a few months my friends who came over from New Zealand started to worry about me. They approached me and asked me if the church at Buderim knew I was gay. Plymouth Brethren are real fundamentalists .Gay is a no no. They did not want me to get hurt as a lot of Gay had in the past with fundamental Churches. I thought about this and rang my sister and told her what they had said. I have been out for thirty years with my family and my nephew knew. She advised me not to worry. Next day my Pastor was at my door. He walked in and threw his arms around me and gave me a hug and told me that he loved me with unconditional love. I don’t blatantly throw my sexual orientation about. The people that I feel need to know within the church all know.
Brothers and sisters the bible is a book about Love. The love of God which is unconditional. It is not a book on sexual orientation. God has promised his love for all those that believe on his son whom he sacrificed that we might
Why Me…….Because he loved me.
God bless you all