Putting the gentle in gentlemen
Many cities lost power in the metropolitan area this past weekend. That inconveniently delayed my ability to post this, but I knew that it was better to submit this post late rather than not do it at all. To my credit, though, I think 21 days have passed. A habit must have been formed. Then again, I don’t know the validity of that psychological study. Human habits are too variable and unpredictable anyways. Take for instance electricity: it is astounding what sorts of awful, rude things will spew from even the kindest person because of a lack thereof.
I have been better about not neglecting my devotion time and managed to keep up with it regardless of all the recent and unforseen circumstances. I had some dreams to ponder about. I had a new environment to adjust to. I even have some health issues thrown into the mix. On Thursday, when I should have been resting from my ailments, I still decided to make my way to Whole Foods to stock up on groceries. It was a regretable decision yet one that had to be made lest I go another day on scarce sustenance. Everything I purchased totaled out to be the weight of a child heavy enough to walk on its own. Unfortunately, bags don’t come with legs so I had to carry them a good several blocks back to the train, and from there back to my neighborhood. It never occurred to me to ask for a ride from the station or even a ride to the store to begin with.
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4: 25-27
I habitually make it a point not to respond to even the seemingly innocent advances from other males when I am in public. I am intentional with where I look even I as I check traffic. It’s only a tingly, Spidey sense away before the lustful raucous comes blaring down the highway in a less than appealing truck full of lawncare equipment. I don’t know what it is about a young woman and bags that is a turn off, but it seems to be the runner up right next to having young children; and, you know, it’s funny because it’s merely a set of cargo in my arms which distinguishes from being the visual stimulus of some sick mental fantasy and a pedestrian.
I avoided eye contact with the males I passed this time, my bags in hand and over my shoulder, but this time it was to spare them the shame. I would have never expected nor asked for anyone to carry them all the way home for me, but I received not even one offer to just lighten the load momentarily. I met a man at the bus terminal around the corner from home. His name was Joseph. He shares a name with a virtuous biblical character. He shared a piece of his life story with me. He was born Jewish. He became a Christian. He admitted that we are all still unperfect. He seemed to be in touch with the ails of the day. He remained sitting down the entire time he told me all this. Then, finally, when the bus came (which, according to Joseph, was the right one I needed to catch although it took me further from the neighborhood) he finally got up and walked right past me, leaving my to pick up my bagged male-repellant and waddle towards the bus.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled but rather healed.
Hebrews 12: 12-13
“Do you want some help?” I looked up to see the bus driver motioning to unbuckle his seatbelt.
“Oh! No, but thank you. You’re the first person to offer so I really appreciate that.” I replied earnestly.
He began to say something else after I had gotten settled and came back to the front to pay. I thought that he was handing me a free bus pass (bless his samaritan heart) when I looked down.
“You know, I do counseling and mentorship and [blah blah blah] and I was thinking that [you could believe whatever ridiculous fib I insert just to hit on you if only you would take my phone number].”
My face felt like a deflated balloon. I was too tired and disappointed in the male species at that point to gently reject him in front of bus full of an audience. Although I had instinctively taken the slip of torn paper, I threw it in his lap right where he sat, and then I went back to my own seat.