A twenty-year old student and a sketch pad on a beach. Using simple cartoons, he recounts his upbringing as part of a loving Christian family. He goes through the usual children's and youth groups which are part of most churches. It is one evening at the youth group, that he plucks up the courage to raise a question that's been troubling him. He poses it about "a friend". "I've got a friend, and he's gay. What do I do?" After an awkward silence, he is told in no uncertain terms: "YOU CAN'T BE GAY AND CHRISTIAN". And of course he is his gay friend.
This is the beginning of a short documentary made by James Lawbuary called A Video Testimony, described as "The story of a simple man who was changed by an almighty God". Almost the entire film is shot over his shoulder as he vividly recreates his struggles with the tension created by the dogmatic assertion, which bore no gainsaying. His experience echoes that of many in his position - many tears, many prayers, isolation and alienation from any faith he had. I won't to spoil the plot, but the change of the tagline takes place unexpectedly on a beach one evening on a church weekend away. It is a dramatic encounter with Jesus himself who speaks to him.
What is impressive about this film is its transparent honesty and its understated conviction. It has a lovely statement of the God's universal good news at its heart. Watch it here: A LGBT Video Testimony. I thoroughly recommend it.