God is so kind to have gifted Hill and his writing to build up His church. I have found Hill very helpful on many fronts. I will share three.
Firstly, to state the obvious, Hill gives me a profound insight into the life and struggle of a Christian who experiences same-sex attraction and seeks to obey Christ. Hill also deeply educates me concerning same-sex attraction in general, debunking myths and reducing ignorance. Hill shared that the discovery of his sexual orientation was more like ‘noticing he has blue eyes than deciding to go skiing’. Ever since, he has incessantly searched for every explanation possible to why and how he came to have homoerotic feelings. ‘When did you begin to notice these feelings? How was it like? What did you do?’ become sensible questions I can ask of those I counsel. Hill also shared that he feels ‘desperately, utterly, eerily, helplessly lonely and isolated’. There is also shame and guilt that commonly lead to questioning of God’s love. Hill really opens my eyes to feel the painful world that these faithful Christians live in. Another paradigm shift for me is that homosexual feelings is not primarily sexual but relational. That has a huge implication to how I seek to build support for and with them within the local church community. Lastly, my previous curiosity on the psychological roots of SSA and seeking to pinpoint its origin has been helpfully corrected.
But the brilliance of this book is that it isn’t just about homosexuality. Indirectly, it has so vividly expounded the basics of a Christian life of faith, love and hope, that it has effectively ministered to me as one who doesn’t struggle with same-sex attraction. It has demonstrated how concretely the relevant gospel can be applied in the daily lives of Christians. In Hill’s intense struggle, we see him engaging daily with God and His promises. We witness his constant wrestle with and dependence upon God in his desire to honour Christ. In him I witness beautiful quiet faithfulness and hope. And if indeed homosexuality is no more sinful that other sins listed in Romans 1, Hill’s faithful struggle exposes my blindness towards my own sins and hence lack of dependence upon the gospel for daily forgiveness and strength to live godly lives. His awakening to his lack of discipline in looking to the cross of Christ and daily effort to view himself as God’s beloved is relevant to all Christian.
Lastly, I have also found what Hill shared – pastorally transferrable to those who struggle with addiction, singleness, chronic illnesses and even depression. His gospel outlook and trajectory in the way he dealt with his same-sex desires. A single friend of mine struggling with heterosexual addiction resonated with Hill.