Living in faith

“If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you”?

Reading over old blogs for inspiration and this quote hit me hard.

Today is the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist and I attended church for the first time in what seems like forever. The pandemic has hit my routine hard.

I had a compliment this morning on twitter which moved me to tears. A twitter friend commented kindly on my theology and that I have the “true spirit of the gospels”. I am definitely no theologian and I know my dyslexic notes on here read as child-like. But that is how my faith makes me feel, child-like and in awe. Always questioning and never having the answers. My 91 year old friend who took me to church as a child says similar things, that he is still finding new things after all this time of being a Christian.

I am very lucky that he took me to sunday school and that I became a Christian. Although for many periods in my life I was ‘atheist’ ‘questioning’ and ‘spiritual’, and although my life had been a chaotic mess and I have been ‘off the rails’, I have always come back. And He has always been there, more than people will ever know.

In the worst times of my life, through my childhood and in adulthood, my faith has been an anchor that has sustained me. I am truly thankful and blessed.

I have been judged so many times. I write about some of that here in ‘Criminologist or Criminal’.

This morning I listened to the beautiful lyrics of Vicky Beeching an LGBTQIA+ Christian I admire greatly. In her song ‘Undivided Heart’ she says:

“You make all things new, so take my ashes and make them something beautiful”.

It doesn’t matter what has gone before. I get judged constantly and stigmatized for so much but that is not my issue. If I can use my story to connect with others, if the trauma can be used for something, then it is worth it somehow. We are all just out here trying to build with the blocks we have been thrown.

Sometimes I think my life experience has given me my faith, other times I think my faith has meant I have been given these experiences. Who knows.

All I know is I have never been alone. I have had so much love and friendship. Friends walking alongside me sustaining me who are atheist, who are Christian, who are Quaker, who are Muslim, who are Jewish. And I thank you all so much.

My evangelism revolves around listening and advocacy, evidence-based policy and shining a light on the dangerous relationship between the religious right and ‘anti trafficking’ orgs.

Sex workers are under attack like never before. It is utterly shameful that during a global pandemic people are attacking their income through laws that would be more suited to Gilead.

The Sex Work Research Hub policy briefing here clearly demonstrates how harmful the ‘Nordic/Swedish’ model is for sex workers who labour under it.

In 2021 I have exciting meetings and hope to do a lot more work in the area of public criminology and merging theology-criminology.

Stay safe and all best for 2021,

Gemma x