Sunday, January 29, 2006

But, He's My Boyfriend

I received an interesting call from the hospital today. A young woman had given birth on Friday to a healthy baby boy. But today she is still in the hospital because her depression is so severe. I received the call because today she wanted to talk with a chaplain.

G: I'm Chaplain Gibson. I just came from the nursery, your son is beautiful.

T: Thank you. Are you a pastor?

G: No. I am a chaplain, a minister who serves in a setting outside of the church. I am like a pastor in that I am ordained, but I don't preach sermons every Sunday or serve a regular congregation.

T: (After that odd explanation she looked a little dumbfounded) Will our conversation be confidential?

G: Absolutely.

T: Are you going to tell my doctor about what we talk about?

G: If you say something I think you should share with your doctor I will encourage you to do so otherwise I am just here to listen.

T: I don't want my baby.

G: Why?

T: His daddy is a fag. (Yes she was that direct and that matter of fact) I caught that bastard in my bed with his boyfriend.

G: That must have been difficult for you. (Damn, I'm stupid at times)

T: Hell yeah it was. I never knew. We been together since I was 17 years old. I never had a clue he was a fag.

G: How old are you now?

T: 18 and a half. I mean I been put out by my parents and all this s**t, Sorry preacher. I mean stuff and now I got a baby and a fag man. Isn't God going to send him to hell for being a fag.

G: That does not seem to be important at the moment what is important is how will you deal with this new information.

T: I don't want his baby because I don't want him coming around me. I can't sleep because every time I wake up I see him in bed with Cuddy. Cuddy always been a fag but damn Cuddy knew that he's my boyfriend. (She starts to cry softly) I can't tell nobody because I feel so bad, my boyfriend is a fag. What kind of woman does that make me.

G: T you know that you are not responsible for your boyfriend's sexual orientation.

T: I must not be woman enough.

G: That's not the issue, the issue is deception and dishonesty. His orientation has nothing to do with whether or not you are an attractive woman.

T: Why did this have to happen to me. (There's a knock at the door. A tall handsome young man comes in bearing flowers and a teddy bear.) Oh hi baby, this is the chaplain, a hospital preacher who is talking to me about our baby. Chaplain this is Z he's my boyfriend.

Z: What's wrong with our baby.

G: Nothing is wrong with the baby, T and I were discussing spiritual matters.

Z: Well, we belong to Miracle Way Church of God in Christ and our Elder will handle the baby dedication.

G: Of course. (Z's phone rings.)

Z: Baby I will be right back.

T: Who is that?

Z: My mama. Hold on. (Z leaves the room)

T: I really do love him. He's my boyfriend. Do you think he is a fag? Does he look like a fag to you?

G: I don't think you can always go on appearance. I hope you two will have a meaningful talk about that situation. Otherwise it's the pink elephant that's always in the room.

T: Huh?

G: It's the issue that always around but never addressed so it never leaves and it will eventually damage your relationship.

T: I don't think I'm ready to talk with him about it. I just want him to love me. Cause He's my boyfriend. Thank you for coming.

G: If you want to talk some more about this feel free to have me paged. Also let your doctor know that you are having some relationship issues, so they can properly medicate you.

T: Do I have to tell them...

G: Only if you want to. They will understand when you say relationship issues. But please talk to somebody. Perhaps the elder of your church.

T: The Elder is his daddy.

G: Oh--I see. I will have the Day Chaplain stop by before you are discharged with some recommendations. Okay.

T: Thanks it feels better to tell somebody. I know I love him and I want him in me and the baby's life. It's gonna be alright cause He's My Boyfriend. Thanks again for coming. Z is going to be back soon.

G: Let him know how you feel..about everything. Good bye. As I walk out of the room I do some paperwork at the nurse's station and I see Z having a very animated phone conversation. I do not eavesdrop. But I did hear him say...

Z: Every thing will be cool. Cuddy trust me, I'm wit you.

T: Thank you Pastor, I mean Chaplain for coming by.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Can the Truth be a Lie?

I felt almost sorry for James Frey the other day. He was being pimp slapped by the America's big sister and sometimes glam mammy Oprah. But on the other hand I thought she needed to kick his ass for being the biggest liar this side of George W. Bush.

What got me in the snippets I watched is that he still could not come to grips that he lied and that his book is an interesting piece of fiction based in some part on the truth. Sorta like an episode of "Law and Order."

But maybe Frey is dealing with that difficult concept of "truth." People keep telling me there are three sides to every story your side, my side and the truth. What is the truth.

When a man tells a woman he loves her in order to help her decide to give him what he desires sex or money or companionship is he lying? Is it dishonest if someone wants something from someone to tell them what they want to hear?

After all if I want to have sex and I love sex, then am I lying if I tell a woman that I love her? After all she will be the source of my sex and I do love sex.

Is the Bible lying when it says if you have the faith the size of a mustard sea we could move mountains?

Damn, this is hard.

I know one thing, I ain't lying to Oprah she ain't gonna beat my ass on television like she did James Frey. She kicked his ass so thoroughly that I felt almost sorry for the lying jackass.

Oh by the way we all need to's the latest from my favorite crackhead.

Note to my readers: This is my recollection of an actual conversation. It has been edited for presentation in this space.

S: Gibby you won't believe this s**t. After all these years I am knocked up.

G: Damn that is so f**ked up.

S: What you mean?

G: I can imagine that the zygote/fetus/child growing in you is having a long sit down with the creator trying to figure out what he or she did wrong to warrant this punishment.

S: That was mean. I gave a damn about your opinion I would be crying. After all us pregnant women is sensitive.

G: So let me ask the question all America wants to know. How is sperm donor.

S: A good man with a good job and one who loves him some me.

G: Damn.

S: What??

G: You don't have a f**king clue do you?

S: Not really.

Monday, January 23, 2006

What is Baptism

This weekend in my work as a hospital chaplain I baptized two people. One was a 90 year old woman who always wanted to get baptized but never got around to it. She was a baptist and she wanted to do it the "right" way--full body immerson. Well that could not happen but I offered her the option of pouring that way she could feel the water running across her face.

She said that she felt so much better after the baptism. She felt at peace and comfortable.

The next man was in the ICU. He was not able to communicate and he was on a ventilator. His ex-wife brought up the topic of baptism and one of the daughters actually screamed NO!!! Being the drama avoidance king I am at the hospital I spoke with the family and I told them that baptism is the outward expression of the inward change. I also asked them if they believed that the presence of God was with their loved one? And if so, then we know from the Bible that conversion is instantaneous and water is not necessary. But we can go through the sacrament of baptism if they are willing to stand and speak for him out of their love for him.

I came back later and they were together at peace and we did baptize the man. Later a parish pastor told me that I cheapened the sacrament by doing it for him in the hospital without hearing his confession. I don't know he may be right, but I am driven by the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" thing which from my perspective says that if I am in a fearful place and there is a way to reduce my anxiety about the unknown future, I would want someone to facilitate my stress and not direct me to doctrine when the doctrine can't help me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Somebody Please Tell Me ...When Did God Become a Hateful Bitch?

Okay enough is enough.

Ray Nagin, you need to breathe my brother. So now you profess to know that God is angry at the US of A for invading Iraq. My yella brotha, you have been sniffing too much flood water. Leave God out of this.

If you hate Bush, be a man and say "I can't stand the muthaf**ka!"

But you sound like a bad imitation of Rev. Fred Phelps and the Kansas crazies who go around the country protesting at peoples funerals because they think God is mad at the US of A cause it tolerates gays.

He's an asshole and frankly you are acting like one.

God has a lot of reasons to be mad at the creation but you guys have no business speaking for God to move your political agendas. And frankly I take offense at your characterization of God as some silly something that becomes a venegeful bitch takin out his/her/its anger on the young (soliders in Iraq) or the innocent (the Sago Miners or the people of New Orleans) to get back at the rich and powerful--George Bush.

Aside to Phelps: You are a lowlife, a trailer park ghetto jack leg preacher who really has nothing to say. What you do to breaved families is going to send you and your colleagues straight to hell--if you believe in such a place. Remember I think the bible says we are weep with those who weep, not make their suffering more intense and confusing.

This shit and yeah I said shit is plain ole stupid whether it comes from a lunatic like Phelps or a misguided politico like you and yeah I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt cause you black.

There are significant issues facing this country but you guys are dismissed from the dialogue because of this blatant demogoguery (is this a word?) that stifles any meaningful discourse.

Y'all have pissed me off. But now I have ranted and gee I feel better.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mixed Up Saturday

Today my mind is a jumbled maze.

First, to my blog buddy and homeboy E, Sarah the literal serial ho is a real person and those conversations are my edited recollections of the events.

Update on Sarah: She went to court and her PD got her a pretty good deal, she will be under supervision for a year and if she manages not to get caught on the stroll for the next 12 months she will only have a disorderly conduct charge on her record.

Right now she her the verdict in her case is awaiting charges pending supervision.

But while that was good news for her it was bad news for me.

Sarah: So what do you think.

G: Go to church and shout on Sunday cuz da Lawd sho made a way fo you.

S: Naw caint go. Football playoffs start Sunday and my new boyfriend wants me to cook snacks for him and some of his friends.

G: Dang Sarah you just used your connection with God to get a good deal from the judge and now you gonna play God like God is tramp.

S: No I am not. God gave me a new boyfriend and I am going to cherish this gift. Men don't like it when you let church get in the way.

G: Hmmmm-

S: Don't be givin me that Hmmmm s**t. You know Gibbs you be a passive agressive n***a someetime. You always trying to be so psychological.

G: Hey that's between you and God.

S: And Gawd knows my heart.

G: Whatever. Hey I got to go.

S: Wait. My PD knows you.

G: How can that be. I don't know anybody like that here.

S: She grew up in Detroit.

G: It's a big town. I'm sure I don't know her.

S: She had a lot of questions about you. B*t*h almost got cussed out.
I ain't yo social secretary.

G: Who is she.

S: Regina Thomas.

G: Is she kind of short, not fat but not skinny and red hair?

S: Yeah, (eyes getting wide) oh hell, you do know her.

G: I had a crush on her in middle school and we were friends in high school.

S: She said she hadn't seen you since your wedding.

G: Man, I saw a picture of her just the other day.

S: Well understand this, I ain't carrying messages back and forth for you. (Pause) Gibbs what the hell did she ever see in you? Cause you ain't much to look at. And I can't imagine "it" being that good. (laughs) She wanted to know how I knew you. I started to tell her that you was my one of my johns. (Laughing)

G: And I would kick your ass from Carbondale to the Wisconsin Dells.

S: Oh ain't we a little testy? No I told her we met through our churches and how you have been a mentor to me. In other words I made you seem very much like a humanitarian. She seems very interested in you. I'm sure you'll come up again.

G: Really--just leave it alone.

S: I bet she's tellin all y'all friends from back in da day, Gibby going with a ho.

G: That is not funny.

S: Yeah it is.

That night I had a nightmare and I woke up in a cold sweat. In my personal horror flick, I get a call from an old friend from the neighborhood. Jackie is one of those brothers I never really liked but somehow he keeps hangin on. Every funeral, every infrequent trip to Detroit, I see Jackie. He is a nosy man a very nosy man.

J: Hey Harold I hear you live near Regina Thomas.

H: Really? Where is she living?

J: Somewhere near Springfield or St. Louis

H: I haven't seen her in a long time. And I haven't seen her around here.

J: Well somebody told me she heard you were seeing one of her clients? When did you and the wife split? I saw y'all together here at your grandpops funeral.

H: Who told you that? And What are you talking about man. We are very much together.

J: Aw s**t man. N***as aint s**t. Carmelita Phillips (the girl in school who was always threatening to beat me up) said she heard you was messing with a ho.

H: What!?!!!

J: Yeah dude you a trick. Somebody said you was caught with one of Regina's clients. And you was on Johns TV or in the newspaper down there.

H: This is incredible.

And with that I woke up in a cold sweat. Now I know why the innocent often look guilty. Man if this was to happen I would never go back to Detroit again. Cause Detroit is nothing but a big country town where there is less than six degrees of separation between everyone. And if this got out I would be known as Harold Gibson--da Trick.

Final Rant of the day--I went to a three hour funeral. Three hours!!! Yeah the brother was a nice man but three hours????

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Continuing Adventures of Ms. Sarah the Literal Serial Ho

Do you ever have days when you know that you should not answer the phone?
But you did not listen to the inner voice of wisdom and you picked up the phone and

G: Hello.

S: It's me Sarah.

G: What's the matter?

S: Damn can't you at least say Happy New Year?

G: Sarah, you gettin ready to go down on your prostitution charge. What's happy about this new year for you?

S: Gibbs sometimes I think you don't like me.

G: Sometimes you be right. Imagine that.

S: Anyway, my PD--you short for Public Defender, he thinks that you need to write a letter vouching for my character.

G: And put who's name on it.

S: Yours of course.

G: You must be out of your mind.

S: Gibbs stop being so touchy. You know this was my first offense.

G: No it was the first time your silly behind got caught.

S: Anyway, write a letter, tell the judge about how I love working with chillun and the good stuff I do down at my church.

G: What good stuff do you do down at your church?

S: I go.

G: And----

S: I go at least once the month.

G: You just a zealot ain't you.

S: Yes I is. What's a zealot.

G: Forget about it.

S: See my PD he thinks if I get some support from my church family it will help me in my case.

G: I don't go to your church.

S: So you do go to church? Don't you?

G: Yeah but I know you from the hood. Not from church.

S: You know I be modeling Jesus all the time.

G: Damn is Jesus a crack ho too?

S: Oooo-you is going straight to hell.

G: Sarah I got to go.

S: Write my letter or I am going tell everybody we had sex.

G: We didn't

S: I know that and you know that but those bitches you know will believe anything nasty I say.

G: Who am I writing this letter to?

S: You so sweet Gibbs

G: You are such a low down ho.

S: I bet you say that to all your women, that's exactly why you don't get none. I need that letter by Thursday. Bye.

To: Judge Washington-Wilson: Sarah is a ho with a heart of gold.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Book of Daniel

After all the hype, the Book of Daniel was really kind of a let down. I thought it was more Desperate Housewives, than an attack on Christianity. But one thing I did like about it was that it showed how complicated being and living Christian can be.


Because like all the heathens, we Christians want happiness too. We want to find satisfaction and peace. We want to be accepted for who we are by those who love and we really do not want to disappoint anybody. We also want to keep our flaws and mistakes under wraps.

We do have sex and we do enjoy having sex with our spouses! And even though we know it ain't right, when our spouses are no longer capable of meeting those companionship needs sometimes Christians even clergy cross the line into "adultery."

And while I do not condone it, I am real enough with myself and my savior to know that stuff happens and I pray not to be tested.

We also know that folks are shacking and while I personally don't think it's a good idea, I know others do it so who am I to judge.

But what I found most fascinating in the overly long two hour premiere is the need on the part of Christians to make others feel good. I thought the show did an excellent job of showing how far clergy will go to make others feel comfortable.

As a person who works with clergy people and those aspiring to ministry I see the daily struggle to appear to be "super people" yet on th inside, doubt and fear have not yet been banished, even though we may love the heck outta Jesus we still feel unsure if we are doing the right thing and we often question what would Jesus do.

Christians have the show and have had for several years that reflect the values they want to purport to be Christian and the lifestyle of the clergy family it's called 7th Heaven. There people confess their sins, feel bad when they get what they want and love their enemies.

The real deal is that we struggle but one thing about the Book of Daniel is that in his alone time the pastor could talk to Jesus (even his white version because he is white) and I think for most of us we also talk to Jesus when we are trying and not succeeding at being Christ like or when we just can't figure out why we're going through the s**t we are enduring.

For the show **

For the concepts ***

Gibby has spoken.

Let the church say WTF