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[生命見證] 起初的愛 (家和)

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各位親愛的朋友大家晚安,我是同光長老教會三重小組的Boris(家和),感謝神讓我有這個機會,可以在這個時刻跟大家分享我的生命故事。


我的父母在我小時候便從台東離鄉背井到台北工作,也因為工作的關係,陪伴我們小孩成長的就只有阿嬤了,因此在我有記憶以來幾乎都是跟著阿嬤長大,而圍繞在阿嬤周圍的除了二個姐姐之外,便是堂(表)兄姐,然而畢竟我在這一群小孩中年齡跟他們是相差最多的,在每次玩耍時基本上我都是被他們遺落在旁邊,或是常常被放鴿子然後哭著找阿嬤的那一個小鬼,正或許是從小的這樣一個成長緣故,讓我漸漸地害怕孤單與被遺棄獨自一人,也相當渴望的被愛。


隨著大家年齡的增長開始上學,陪伴我的阿嬤直到我必須獨自一人上課、下課回家的時後,她也就去了一貫道的道堂修道,於是乎我得強迫自己必須學會一個人長大,我的父親雖然每天下班回家準備晚餐給我們三個小孩吃,但也因著他從年輕時期就開始熱衷於國標舞(他現在已經是老師的等級了),幾乎每每在吃完晚飯後便會出門安排他的休閒娛樂;我的母親因為工作的關係,通常是要到我們快就寢時才會回到家,漸漸地演變成:『爸媽不在家有事找姐姐』的成長模式!


這樣的成長模式對我來說所感受到的父親離我好遙遠,而我內心最渴望的愛,其實是我的父親對我的愛,我極度地渴望父親能在他下班時候不要出門跟我說說話,在我中學時期的某一天,我感冒發燒想讓父親帶我去看醫生,我的父親給了我五百元說著你自己騎腳踏車去看醫生吧,我等等要出門。當下我也只能拖著我難受的身軀,寒風中騎著腳踏車獨自前往就醫打針,在那個時候我忍著淚水跟自己說,沒關係我自己也是可以的,沒關係我都已經國中了很多事情要靠自己。


而在小學階段有一位男老師對我特別的照顧,在我心情不好的時候,他總是會特別的聽我說話,而他所散發出來的個人魅力就是有種會讓我情不自禁的迷戀他,那個時候寫的日記依稀記得都是充滿了我對他的單相思,我知道在那個時期,我極度的渴望有這樣的人能聽我說話跟陪伴,漸漸地我發現只要去學校上課,看到他我就會開心一整天,沒看到他我就會有種失落感,那個時候我還沒聽過所謂的同性戀,我只知道我很喜歡他,看到他我真的會開心一整天,甚至於小學畢業後我們每年都至少會寫一次信給彼此,知道彼此的情況。在ㄧ次偶然的機會下看到他手上拿了一本聖經,便好奇地讓帶他帶我去了教會,教會說什麼我記不起來,我只記得有他在我就很開心,現在回想起來,不管他要帶我去哪裡,我都會說好吧!


到了在國中時期以後也不知是從何時開始,跟我最有話聊的ㄧ直是女同學,反而跟男同學之間並不像跟女同學一樣的有話聊,因此舉凡是當時的家政課或工藝課,我總是會很習慣的被女同學找來同一組一起勾圍巾、裁縫或是烹飪,只是在那個時後根本不曉得自己喜歡的是男的還是女的,只知道學校中的某幾個男老師我會不自覺的把眼光停留在他們身上,也會跟我很要好的女同學開始討論了起來這些男老師。


在國中時期的某一個暑假我參加了基督教舉辦的夏令營,在營會之中我第一次聽到了耶穌的愛,當中有ㄧ段經文說:『神愛世人,甚至將祂的獨生子賜給他們,叫一切信他的不至滅亡,反得永生』。在營會裡也提到耶穌祂愛你,祂為了你來到這個世界上為你承擔了一切,你願意的話也可以當祂的小孩讓祂來愛你。那個時候我就在想,耶穌的愛好像可以滿足我那種被愛的感覺,而我知道我渴望的是被愛,因此在當時我做了一個決定,我跟耶穌說:『耶穌,如果你是真的願意愛我,那我要相信你,我想要讓你來愛。』營會結束之後我開始去教會、參加團契,在教會中我漸漸地感受到耶穌的愛還有其他人對我的真誠與愛,我也喜歡去教會認識這一位耶穌,直到上了大學後我才發現為什麼不一樣了。


大學時期我在臺南念書,又開始了一個人生活,然而這次我是ㄧ個人在外地生活,沒有親戚更沒有已經認識的同學跟我一起在臺南生活,那種孤單的感覺好深,唯一能夠陪伴的似乎也只有是在教會的人吧!在某次上電腦課時,不小心點開了一個國外網站,而網站跳出的畫面讓我心跳加速,我立即又把他關掉但是卻又好想打開,就這樣不斷地重複了好幾次,那個時候我問我自己,我怎麼了?難道我是同性戀嗎?為什麼我對男性有特別的興奮感?可是教會的牧師跟小組長都跟我說同性不可以戀愛啊?我該怎麼辦?好多的問號不斷地跑出來,我是不是生病了?因此我開始搜尋這方面的資訊,而我的學校是屬於藥理大學,在圖書館裡不乏醫學或是藥學的報導論文,因此我開始去找有關同性戀的醫學論文研究,當時已經有許多地期刊在證實同性戀不是病,雖然我的知識告訴我這不是病,但我心理已經生病了,我一樣去教會參加小組跟聚會,但同時也開始探索同志應該有的生態活動,不論是上聊天室、去同志酒吧或是同志三溫暖,我開始沉醉在這樣的生活之中,因為只有在那個時刻我才可以滿足我那種被需要的感覺,去感受到人對我的愛,而反觀教會所說的耶穌愛卻離我好遙遠!就這樣每週我都是在去教會或是去酒吧或是三溫暖之中掙扎,而且我根本不敢讓教會的任何人知道,就這樣過了將近一學期的時間,同時也在那個時候我認識了我的初戀男友,而當我被初戀男友分手的時候,我根本無法專心上課更何況不會想去教會,而我的小組長也覺得我怎麼好像變了一個人一樣,於是我把我內心的掙扎跟被分手的事情告訴了小組長,想當然爾,在傳統教會下所能做的事情就是趕鬼、醫治跟禁食禱告,甚至到了最後用受洗的方式讓我斷開這一切,當我進行完了這一切所謂的「療程」之後,我也以為我好了,但當我又回到ㄧ個人的時候,那些從男性得到的渴望與愛卻又揮之不去,就這樣過了好長一段時間,我生病了,我得了重度憂鬱症,而且是嚴重到必須在精神病院接受治療長達十個月的時間,在我病發的那段期間,是我有史以來毫無記憶的時刻,誰來看我或是我說了什麼我完全沒有印象,一直到我出院後,我決定要把我是同性戀的這件事情完全埋藏不再提起。


就這樣出了社會開始工作之後,斷斷續續地去教會,也同時談了幾段感情,但每段感情只要一提到教會都會無極而終,因此我有很長一段時間跟 神埋怨為什麼祢說祢愛我,卻又不願意讓我得到人的愛呢?難道祢真的不再愛我了嗎?還是我不值得祢愛了?還是要我把整個人全部獻給祢,祢才願意愛我?神沒有給我回答,但我還是決定把我是同志的還有對男性的情感全都放下,全心投入在教會的事工之中,甚至把自己的工作辭掉,全職的開拓教會。


在開拓教會的期間,除了過年休息之外可以說是全年無休:星期一教會休息去了神學院修課;星期二教會禱告會從不缺席;星期三參與社區福音課程;星期四安排小組探訪關懷;星期五配搭小組長一起服事同工;星期六主責學青區的主日聚會;星期日的主日崇拜服事,當然還有平常從星期二到星期五下午時段的高關懷青少年陪讀課輔班,我跟神說這樣的安排可以了吧,我是不是有資格去愛我想要愛的人了呢?就在這樣的日子中過了三年,於此同時也是同婚議題的年份,每當教會為了反同的議題禱告時,我知道我無法禱告,甚至禱告不了!甚至於要我拿出連署書要讓大家簽下反對同婚的連署書時,我總是默默地跟神說,主啊!祢難道不知道我是同志嗎?為什麼要讓我在這樣的環境中接受這一切?難道我做的還不夠嗎?為什麼祢要讓我這樣的過日子?我活的好累好累,曾幾何時我甚至想結束了我的生命!


最後我撐不下去了,我選擇離開教會,我放逐了自己,也在同時間認識了我的前任,我跟前任住在一起將近有三年的時間,我真真實實地享受了同志生活,跟許多同志交朋友,也讓我學習如何愛人與被愛,但也在最後的半年當中,我跟前任也因為某些觀念的不同而漸行漸遠,在這個時候,我二姐(她是個非常虔誠的基督徒,我的信仰有大部分是跟著她一起學習跟被造就的)突然約我想跟我一起吃飯,在吃飯中她關心了我離開教會與不在家的這段時間生活情形,她也跟我談到了不管你現在的生活是如何我一樣愛你,她問我是不是跟人一起生活而且是男的,當下我沒有回答,她說沒關係,是男的也沒關係,只要你們相愛願意一起走我都很支持你,她也跟我道歉說我們都是神所愛的子女,神愛我也愛你,不會因為你是什麼樣的人而不愛你,過去她不應該在這麼的不接納我,我們是家人,我愛你因為你是我弟弟,我完全接納你!不要離開神!當我聽到這些話的時候,我在餐廳哭了,因為我最愛的家人從最無法接納到完全的接納,這段路我走了好長好長……。


談完之後她鼓勵我再回到教會,我自己也知道我有將近三年的時間沒有回到神的家中了,但我仍然害怕進到教會,於是她在2019年1月的時候拎著我來到了同光教會,剛開始來到同光時,我還是很害怕跟教會的人有互動,畢竟曾經在教會受了很多的傷,當然也曾經懷疑上帝祢真的在同光嗎?同光對我而言只是個守主日的地方罷了!一直到四月份的主餐主日時,牧師透過擘餅再次說耶穌基督親自為我們捨了生命、為我們流了血,當我準備領受餅跟杯向神禱告時,我親自聽到上帝跟我說:「孩子,我在這,我一直都在,我親自為你捨了生命,我愛你,不需要你再做什麼我一樣愛你,回來吧!這是你的家,回到你起初的愛,回到當時愛我的樣子!我愛你,孩子我愛你!」我好久沒有那麼釋放的大哭,那麼樣被溫暖的聲音所充滿,其實神很愛我,不需要我做什麼,祂仍然愛我,我只要單單地相信祂愛我,而且祂一直都在。


聖經上說:『盜賊來,無非要偷竊、殺害、毀壞;我來了,是要叫羊得生命,並且得的更豐盛。』親愛的朋友,過去我的生命好像這段經文中所說的被毀壞了,但我的生命卻因著耶穌而得著生命並且活得更豐盛!人的愛也許會有盡頭,但神的愛永無止境,當我經歷了感情、親人、教會,甚至各樣的愛與傷害時,唯有耶穌的愛永不離棄不改變,現在我可以很驕傲的大聲說「我是同志,我驕傲!我是同志基督徒我更驕傲!」我相信神的愛永不改變。這是我的生命故事,也許某些部分跟你經歷是一樣的,我也盼望你能經歷到這一份無比的愛!


接下來的這首詩歌叫做恩典的記號,歌詞中所說:我所有掙扎,所有軟弱和跌倒,將成為主恩典的記號。走過的路有歡笑有淚水,都留下主恩典的記號。盼望你我都能夠擁有這一份恩典的記號!


Good evening dear friends, I am Boris from Sanchong small group in Tong-Kwang Light House Presbyterian Church. Thanks be to God for giving me this opportunity to share my life story with everyone.


My family moved from Taitung to Taipei for work purposes when I was young and because of this, my grandma was the only person to accompanied us when we were growing up. Hence all my memories were with grandma and besides her and my two elder sisters, I also had the company of cousins. As my age difference was the greatest, I was left alone whenever they were playing together, and they often broke their promise to go out with me. When these situations happened, I would find grandma and cry. Perhaps because of these experiences growing up, I gradually was afraid of being lonely or being rejected, and thirst for love.


When we reached the age of going to school, my grandma knew that I needed to go to school and return home alone, she would go to a Way of Former Heaven Sect, a Taoist organization to practice. Hence, I had to force myself to grow up alone. Although my father would prepare dinner for his three children after work, he would leave after dinner for ballroom dancing almost every day. He was passionate about ballroom dancing since young and he is currently a teacher. My mother had to come home every day when we are almost about to sleep because of work reasons. Hence it gradually became a situation that when my parents are not home, I need to look for my elder sister whenever I needed help.


Due to this situation when I was growing up, I felt distant from my father and the love that I wanted the most was from my father. I needed my dad to stay at home and talk to me instead of going out. One day when I was in middle school, I caught a cold and had a fever. I was hoping that my dad would bring me to see a doctor, but he gave me 500NT and asked me to ride a bicycle to see a doctor because he was going out. I had to ride a bike alone in the cold weather while feeling unwell. I held back my tears as I told myself that it is alright, I am already in middle school and I need to depend on myself in many situations.


When I was in elementary school, there was a male teacher who cared especially for me. Whenever I was upset, he would pay special attention to me when I speak and his charming personality caused an uncontrollable deep attraction towards him. My thoughts towards him was all I wrote about in my diary then and I know that during that time, I was thirsting for someone who would listen to me and keep me company. Gradually, I found that whenever I went to school and saw him, I would be happy for the whole day and whenever I didn’t see him, I would be feeling down. At that time, I didn’t hear about homosexuality. All I knew was that I liked him and seeing him would really make me happy the whole day. Even after graduating from elementary school, we would write a letter to each other at least once a year to find out about each other’s situation. I once saw that he was holding a Bible in his hand and out of curiosity, I asked him to bring me to church. I couldn’t remember what church was to me, all I remembered was that when he was there I was very happy. Now that I think about it, no matter where he wanted to bring me, I would agree.


I’m not sure exactly when in middle school, the person whom I can talk to the most is a female classmate. I couldn’t find as many topics to talk about with my male classmates compared to my female classmates. Hence during home economics or art classes, my female classmates would form a group with me to knit scarves, sew or cook. Because of this, I wasn’t sure whether I liked boys or girls. I only knew that within the school, I would often look at a few male teachers, and I would discuss about these teachers with my female friends.


One summer in middle school, I attended a summer camp organized by a church and there I first heard about the love of Jesus. One of the verses in the Bible was, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whomever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life”. In this camp I learnt that Jesus loves you and he came to this world to bear all of your burdens. If you are willing, you can be his child and let him love you. At that time, I thought that the love of Jesus can fulfill my need of being loved and that is what I knew I needed the most. Hence I made a decision and told Jesus, “Jesus, if you are willing to love me, I will believe in you and I want you to love me.” After the camp, I started going to church and join small groups. In the church, I gradually started feeling the love of Jesus, and the sincerity and love of others. I enjoyed going to church to learn about Jesus until I attended college and found why it was different.


When I was studying in a college in Tainan, I started living alone again in a foreign place. I had no relatives or friends and I felt extremely lonely. The only company I had was from church. Once when I was attending a computer lesson, I accidentally opened a website from another country. The website caused my heart to race and I wanted to close it immediately, but I also wanted to open it. I had this struggle for a while and I asked myself what’s wrong with me? Am I gay? What should I do? I asked myself many questions, including whether I was ill. Hence I started searching for resources in this area and since I was in a medical college, there were many articles and theses about medical or pharmaceutical knowledge. I found out that homosexuality is not a disease and although I knew I wasn’t ill, my heart was unwell. I went to church and small group gatherings as usual, but I was searching for gay lifestyle in forums, bars and saunas. I started sinking in this lifestyle because I felt wanted and loved, but the love of Jesus was so far away! Every week I would struggle to choose between church, bars or saunas, and I didn’t dare to let anyone in church know. This happened for one semester and at the same time I had my first boyfriend. When I broke up with him, I couldn’t concentrate in class and didn’t feel like going to church. My small group leader felt that I became another person, hence I shared my struggles with him. In traditional churches, all they could do was exorcism, healing, fasting and prayer, or baptism to cause me to stop all this. When I completed this “healing journey”, I thought I was completely cured, but whenever I was alone, I could not get rid of the desire of being wanted and loved by men. After a long while, I became deeply depressed , to the point of getting treatment from a psychiatrist for up to ten months. During this time, I had no memory of what happened, such as who came to see me or what they said to me. After I left, I decided to bury the fact that I was gay and never speak of this to anyone again.


When I started working, I went to church only occasionally and had a few relationships, but whenever church was mentioned, it would end. Hence for a period of time, I would complain to God that although You said that You love me, why am I not allowed to receive love from people? Do You not love me anymore? Or am I unworthy of Your love? Or should I give my entire being to You before You are willing to love me? God did not reply, but I decided to let go of my homosexual identity and feelings towards men to focus entirely on serving in church, to the point of resigning from my job and focusing only on church planting.


During this time, besides resting during Chinese New Year, I took no leave. I took classes in a Bible College on Mondays when the church was closed, I was always at the Tuesday prayer meetings, Wednesday community gospel classes, Thursday small group visits, Friday meetings with small group leaders, Saturday youth services and Sunday church service. Also on Tuesday to Friday afternoons I would accompany the youths and help them with their studies. I asked God whether this arrangement would be enough, and whether I was qualified enough to love who I want to. This went on for three years and at the same time, the main topic was about marriage equality. Whenever the church was praying against this issue, I knew that I couldn’t. Up to the point when I was asked to produce a petition against marriage equality, I silently asked God whether he knew I was gay. Why am I to be in such an environment and suffer from this? Is what I am doing not enough? Why do You want me to live like this? I am so exhausted to the point that I thought of ending my life in a few occasions.


I could not take it anymore and decided to leave the church. I abandoned all restrictions and at the same time met my ex-boyfriend, whom I lived with for three years. During this time, I truly enjoyed a gay lifestyle, met many gay friends and learnt to love and be loved. However, in the last six months, I struggled in my relationship with my ex because of differences in opinions. During this time, my second sister, who is a firm believer of Jesus, and whom I had learnt from about my faith, suddenly asked to meet me for a meal. During this meal, she expressed her concern about the period of time that I left the church and home. She also said that it did not matter what my lifestyle was, she loved me. She asked if I was living with another man and I did not reply. She said that it does not matter even if it was a man I was living with, as long as we loved each other, she would support me. She also apologized, saying that we are all beloved children of God and God loves us. God would not stop loving you because of who you are, she should not have been so unaccepting of me and that we are family. She loves me because I am her brother and she accepts me for who I am. I should not leave God. When I heard all of these, I wept at the restaurant, because the family member whom I loved the most changed from being unable to accept me, to totally accepting me for who I am. This was a very, very long journey.


When we finished our conversation, she encouraged me to return to church. I also knew that I had not returned to the house of God for almost three years. Although I was afraid to enter church, she brought me to Tong-Kwang church in January of 2019. Initially, I was afraid to interact with church members because I was hurt many times in church. I also doubted whether God was in Tong-Kwang. The church was just a place for Sunday service. Until the Holy Communion in April, a pastor through the act of the breaking of bread, reminded me that Jesus Christ gave up His life for us and bled for us. When I was preparing to receive the bread and cup and prayed, I heard God telling me, “My child, I am here and I have always been here. I personally gave up my life for you and I love you. You do not need to do anything to earn my love. Return for this is your home. Return to your first love, return to the way that you first loved me. I love you my child, I love you.” I had never cried so loudly for so long, and the warm voice filled me, reminding me that God truly loves me and does not need me to do anything to earn His love. I only needed to simply believe in His love and that He is always there for me.


The Bible says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Dear friends, my life previously was destroyed as this verse says, but because of Jesus, my life became fuller. The love of people may have a limit, but the love of God has no limit. When I experienced love and hurt from relationships, family, church and other different sources, only the love of Jesus is unchanging and always there. Now I can proudly say loudly “I am gay and I am proud! I am every prouder that I am a gay Christian!” I believe that the love of God doesn’t change. This is my life story and maybe some parts of it is the same as yours. I hope that you can experience this incomparable love!


Next is a worship song called the Mark of Blessing. The lyrics mention the following “All my struggles, all my weaknesses and failures, shall become marks of God’s blessings. The journey has laughter and tears, and leaves the marks of God’s blessings.” I hope that both you and I can have this mark of blessings.


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