Reflection on Luke 13: 10-17

So here is my favorite
transgender story of all time —
and I don’t suppose you can tell
whether the one bending over
was someone everyone saw as a man
bent over the woman inside,
or the bowed shape of a woman
crouching for years over
the little boy she knew
himself to be …
the youth, the bearded man.

We readers of Luke
are never told whether the person
in the synagogue,
who had for eighteen years
looked at feet that wanted to run away
was dressed with or against
the deeper truth, but we know

that Jesus saw the stenosis of the soul
and called and touched and healed.

We also know it made people angry,
because it is so easy
to argue for more waiting
when it is someone else’s bondage,
bathroom or blessing,
and some people are convinced
that God needs their advice
in defining — “standing up straight.”

And, as Jesus had
the sheer sarcastic sabbath
to point out —
many have an easier time
with rescue at the animal shelter
(which in our day
has more dogs than donkeys)

than rejoicing when any queer person
praises God!

The book I co-authored with Leanne McCall Tigert, Transgendering Faith — Identity, Sexuality and Spirituality (Pilgrim, 2004), has a series of ten bible studies — each with text and five questions chosen to highlight issues facing trans members of congregations or congregations seeking to reach out to transgender people. Each session also asks questions that invite all participants to share personally rather than just “discuss issues.” (For example, in studying Psalm 139 everyone is asked: “Have you ever tried to run away from God?”) If you are interested in these bible studies please contact me through giftsinopenhands@gmail.com and give me an email address to send you a copy.

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