Safe? SAFE?!?

Some women.  Sheesh.

High school:  I was in a Greyhound bus, along with 40 or so other high school students from Washington State and all across Canada.  I’d won a scholastic competition for a summer’s trip to the United Nations and Washington D.C.

I’m stretched out — well, as stretched out as you CAN be on a Greyhound — and M. comes by.  She climbs over D. and sits on my lap, with her legs on D.’s lap.  The three of us talk for a while, then she puts her arms around my neck and pretends to nap.  “You know why I like you so much? M. asks.  I shake my head.  “Because I feel so safe with you.”

Safe?

SAFE!?!?

There’s the kind of safe a woman feels because the man she’s with is a strong defender and won’t let some random nitwit come and mess with her, then there’s the kind of safe a woman feels because she’s with a guy that she’s dead-on certain she won’t be having sex with because he’s never going to ask.  I don’t believe for a second she was speaking about the first, but more about the latter.  In spades.  It’s that kind of comment from women that…well, you might as well just cut off our testicles and hang them off your windshield as trophies.  Nothing emasculates more, I think.

Safe?  SAFE?!?  I don’t want to be thought of as “safe,” not for any reason.  Reminds me of one of the last lines in the book “Lion Witch and the Wardrobe” when Lucy is speaking with Beaver about Aslan:

“Is he safe?” asks Lucy.

Beaver chuckles.  “Safe?  No.  But he is good.”

It happened again recently.  A female friend, married to a good friend of mine, made the “safe” comment again and it drove me nuts.  I’m relatively certain it had more to do with physical issues of weight and disability and perceived homosexuality (even though she knows of my freedom) than it does with my personality or spiritual determination to be a protector and defender of women.  It saddened me deeply.  It even felt like a betrayal at the most fundamental level of our friendship.

I wondered if I was being over-sensitive on the issue.  I’m sad these days about how little life I have in my life, and if this just hit me in all the wrong places.  The thing that makes me the saddest these days, I guess, is that I am not becoming the man I long to be.  I understand more about my “type,” my “Mr. Right” and that he is a prototype of the man I desire so strongly to be.  (More on this later.)  A mental health therapist once told me that there is a strong theory among therapists that more than 90% of all mental illness is a result of a person living differently than their stated core beliefs.  Ninety percent!  I’m not even close to being on track to see the changes in my life to become that man, the man who lives so strongly for the approval and pleasure of His Savior.

The way out is through radical, wholesale change.  The way out is through strength, provided by God.  The way out is through grace and mercy, allowing myself to be the imperfect, weak, fallable person who lives by grace.  Grace for me, these days, seems to fit in that space between the man I desire to be and the man that I am. 

Work harder.  Pray always.  Endure much.  Forgive constantly.  Love over all.

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~ by WriterRand on April 6, 2007.

One Response to “Safe? SAFE?!?”

  1. Yes, “strength provided by God”. GOD HIMSELF is the answer! If you could experience more of the joy of who He is, you would have that strength. John Piper’s teaching on joy completely turned my life around and I believe it will help you. Go to his online book “Dangerous Duty of Delight”
    (http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/books_bd3/bd3.pdf)
    If you can’t get enough, there is even more in his book “Desiring God”
    (http://www.desiringgod.org/dg/id1.htm)
    I will be praying.

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