The name is derived from Acts 9:11 when Ananias is sent to the newly converted Saul of Tarsus to reopen his eyes that were blinded on the Damascus road. The Holy Spirit told Ananias that he needed to venture to “A Street Called Straight” where he would find a man named Judas’ house where Saul was residing. I chose the name “A Street Called Straight” for several reason:
- It is a play on words. As most know, the antonym most readily used for gay is straight. Unfortunately, this term has also become associated with being the holy to the Lord. In other words, those who struggle with sexuality or gender identity are typically considered to be in a perpetual state of sin and unredeemable as long as they continue to face these questions. Therefore, the name indicates the false dichotomy of comparing holiness with “straightness.”
- The name Ananias can mean “God has been gracious” or “Answered by the Lord.” God most often gives grace and compassion to those whom have been deemed unworthy to enter God’s presence, all the while forgetting that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;” therefore all are unworthy before God without His grace. For those who have endured many years of unanswered prayers to be made “straight,” it is a blessing to know that God hears and is far greater than our miniscule ideals of holiness.
- In addition, the name is significant because this is where Paul began His ministry after Ananias laid hands on him, he regained his sight, was baptized, and began to preach of the risen Lord. No matter who we are or what we may endure, we must be transformed by encountering Christ.
- Finally, the path to holiness is fraught with adversity. Paul asked God to take away the thorn in his flesh three times and was continually denied because God’s grace could be made more evident through Paul’s weakness than via Paul’s strength. If it had been easy for Paul, what room would there have been for the power of God to be evident in Paul’s ultimate sanctification?