Thanks for such a great response
Since announcing my pilgrimage of repentance for homophobia just under a fortnight ago, I’ve been delighted, excited and humbled to receive so many messages of encouragement and support.
I’ll be walking from Birmingham to London in June next year. While I’ve been working on this idea for a long time, I announced it publicly only on 10 December. I was really moved by the messages I received in the days following the announcement. They came via email, Twitter, Facebook and this website.
I was affected at a very deep level by people who told me they were inspired and encouraged to hear about my walk. They included a Christian with a gay brother, a gay Christian minister who had once supported homophobia, a Danish Quaker, the non-Christian son of a vicar trying to persuade his father to change his mind about sexuality and several people who said little about themselves but simply expressed their support.
Some were uplifting, some cited upsetting experiences, and some were funny. One who made me laugh out loud said he wished that politicians would show such repentance when they got things wrong – but then added that this could result in exaggerated expenses claims for hiking boots and Kendal mint cake.
There was a danger, of course, that all this congratulation and praise could have gone to my head. The last fortnight could have made me very egotistical! But the fact that my project is about repentance reminds me that while receiving praise I am also accepting forgiveness. Forgiveness triggers both humility and joy. This is a good combination for being pleased with all the support without becoming big-headed.
And so it seems that less than a fortnight after announcing my walk, and nearly six months away from beginning it, I am already learning more about the meaning of repentance.