After I separated from my wife, I found myself alone and lonely and yearning for friends. Joining a religious anti-gay group that was supposed to deliver me from a gay life style, I became close friends with three airline flight attendants who also attended the Exodus group: Scott, Matthew, and Dean. Each worked for a different airline, and seldom were the three in town at the same time. Nevertheless, the friendships became important to my feelings of self-worth. Consistent with the rules of the group, my relationship with these guys was purely platonic, but I thrived on their attention and the fellowship they provided. They were my heroes. Little by little, I learned that my heroes were human and had shortcomings, just like me. When I felt them becoming less dependent on me, I wanted more than anything to change their attitudes. Pondering the situation, I fortunately came to realize that I was praying for something I didn’t really want, and I wrote this poem:
A PRAYER OF FRIENDSHIP
I have three friends–Scott, Matt, and Dean;
Their friendship means the world to me.
I sometimes want to change my friends,
But I can only change me.
Scott is the friend who taught me how
A friendship really should be;
Now when Scott isn’t all I need,
I can’t change Scott–God, change me.
Matt’s prayer life I emulate;
He taught me God is in me;
But Matt said, “I can let you down.”
God, don’t change Matt–just change me.
Dean’s friendship has been one of time;
In games he can defeat me;
Don’t take away Dean’s winning edge;
Give me new goals–Lord, change me.
Life is a challenge, each new day
Demands some alteration;
Lord, bless my friends–let me begin
A friendship restoration.