My recently-government-approved husband often plays his grand piano. He's good. Very good. And although he plays a huge variety of music, we do have a book called The Big Book of Hymns. Church-y stuff. And I know that some of you know them full well, many by heart, from your days of sitting in church pews. You may be familiar with Whiter Than Snow. I wasn't until a friend of mine introduced it to me in 1983. He was my director on a Christian singing tour through the Western US, Canada, and Alaska. Popular, good looking, visually and verbally everything anyone could want. We were sitting together one day and talking about hymns and music. And he said that this was one of his favorites: Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole. I want thee forever to live in my soul. Break down every idol, cast out every foe. Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. He had our group sing it from time to time throughout the summer. And I've remembered it ever since. Without doubt, it always reminds me of him. Good looking, horribly charismatic in his religious walk and life, smiling, happy, and quite a type-A personality. Dressed well, polished shoes, coiffed hair. A really fantastic person and developed into an excellent friend. But it had started out the previous year when I saw him performing in a traveling Christian stage production. And he nearly demanded that I stick around after the show to say hi to him. We went to coffee and drove around a bit before ending up back at my parents home where I was living. One thing led to another and, before you knew it, he was on the floor with his shirt off and asking for a backrub. Fine. No problem. I drove him back to his motel and walked him up to his room. And then left. Nothing happened. I ended up traveling with him for six months during 1993 all over the US and seven countries in Asia before our friendship nearly came to a screeching halt. He became innundated with the beautiful young man who was our piano player. And the rest of the tour member suffered because of it. Our good friendship was nearly ruined. We went many years without speaking. And then, a stroke of craziness hit me and I decided to get married. We were in Denver and saw this friend again. He asked if he could take me to breakfast. Absolutely. He apologized for the past and said he had a very important question to ask me. He, too, was getting ready to ask a young lady to be his wife. He said that he knew full well "the struggles with homosexuality" that both of us had faced...and just exactly how did I resolve those and how was I able to make my marriage work." He was really fishing and searching here. He seemed as unsettled as I did. I mean, these are daunting questions for a struggling guy. He went on to marry her and now has several young girls. He's been a pastor in a lovely horrible successful and well-known Baptist church in California and has been on staff at numerous Christian organizations leading Bible studies and taking groups to South America on mission trips. He won't communicate with me any longer. Won't email. He didn't comment on my recent happiness of domestic partnership. I'm afraid that what I know of his past is a huge threat for him. Plus the fact that he lives a lifestyle that isn't completely congruent with what he knows is true of himself. Struggle. Confusion. Yup, I've been there. And, horribly thankfully, am not any more. But he is. As are many others. The words still strike me, "Whiter than snow, yes whiter than snow. Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."