Reading Ourselves Rightly: Day 6
‘In regard to the young man for whom he was experiencing strong homosexual desires I asked him, “What specifically do you admire in this person?” He replied, “His looks, his intellect, the fact that he is successful.” These, of course, were outstanding traits in himself, but traits that because he could not as yet accept himself, he was denying. I then asked him, “What do you do in your fantasies?” “In my fantasies I want to embrace him, to kiss him on the mouth. I want to come together with him. And in my dreams, that is what I do.” After this reply I asked Him, “Do you know anything at all about the habits of cannibals? Do you know why they eat people?” In utter astonishment, He replied, “No, I’ve no idea why they eat other people.” This is a set of questions that are often key in bringing such minds and hearts as Matthew’s what is really happening in homosexual compulsions. “Cannibals eat only those they admire, and they eat them to get their traits.” What was happening to Matthew was very clear: he was looking at the other young man and loving a lost part of himself, a part that he could not recognize and accept.’ (The Broken Image, pp. 46, 7)
The Broken Image invites us into the lives of many divided souls. In the case of Matthew, Leanne discerns an inability to see himself clearly, a blind spot that contributes to him sexualizing in other men what he wants to become himself (strong, assured, etc.). It is a simple, lifechanging insight. Now Matthew can read his temptations clearly. Now he can dialogue with God and others about integrating his own pretty good masculinity. Now he can let other guys be powerful without abdicating his own power in their company.
This insight is also not everyone’s story. That matters. Leanne is good about not reducing people to a quotient: ‘This happened, thus you are…’ At the same time, she makes a strong case that the depths of our sexuality can be mined for golden insights that light our way into greater wholeness. We are wise not to read The Broken Image as a textbook. It is more like a guide to the art of depth caring. At once incisive and creative, she inspires us all to follow the Spirit where and how He wills to restore every unique soul.
‘In the mysteries of our sexuality, reveal what You will, Almighty and Omniscient One. With the help of Your Spirit and wise guides, unblock us where we are stuck, unlock us where we are bound. In all humility, we acknowledge how much we don’t know, even of what we are not yet conscious. You are our Healer, Jesus.’
‘Jesus, please confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court.’