This evening I was posting my sermon from this morning on the Sermon Blog and I decided to follow up on someone from my past who I had named as one of the faithful departed ones who bequeathed to me gifts that have made me who I am.
The person I named in my sermon was my music teacher in junior high school. When I was older I learned that he had become a woman, at a time when that was just not done. She lost her job and never worked as a teacher again because of being true to herself as God had intended her to be.
When I looked her up online I found this article. My music teacher was more of a hero than I had thought. She wrote a book titled A Handbook for Transsexuals.
When we were kids in Mr. Grossman's music classes, we made fun of him. He was a little, round man who wore patent leather Italian shoes that came to a point at the toes and he had a way of conducting that was eminently mockable for ten and eleven year olds. We had no idea what we were doing.
In my sermon this morning I credited Miss Grossman for giving me the gift of bravery.
Paula Grossman died in 2003, eight years ago. Thank you, Miss Grossman.
Rest eternal grant unto her, O God, and may light perpetual shine upon her.
May her soul, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.