By Wayne Mytas
So I’m standing in the grocery store line waiting my turn at the cash register. You know, the place where you’re supposed to be tempted to buy National Enquirer, candy bars, gum, whatever. The place where, by design, retailers put you in a place to impulse buy something you absolutely can’t live without. (Could we survive a day without breath mints if they weren’t staring at us the moment before we bought them?)
Anyway, I soon realize I’m standing in line where either by design or a joke, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue was on the top rack. Looking at me. You know, like the seductress in Proverbs, laying in wait to ruin you. To be honest, the feeling was not so much being tempted to look or buy as of feeling violated by something invading my space, trying to tear me down.
Waiting and watching eggs and ham and toastems and pizza pass through the scanner with its accompanying beeps, I felt that I’d had enough. Grabbing the magazine from the rack and turning it around so I wouldn’t have to be in the presence of its cover, I almost dropped it as I saw the back was (if you can believe it) more seductive and revealing than the front.
Pushing my cart ahead, the cashier must have caught on to my frustration and embarrassment, judging by the look I received from her.
Trying to laugh it off as I carried my bags into my house, suddenly something inside me broke. Throwing my coat across the room, I exclaimed through watery eyes, “This is a bad joke! Do you know what it’s like to live celibate in a sexually charged world? Do you know what it’s like to come home to an empty house every night, watching years pass me by without a mate? No one to come home to; no one to talk to? I’m tired of this. I’m tired of the loneliness and frustration and feeling out of place in a couple’s world. I’m tired of watching Dads pick up their children and laugh and be affectionate with them. I am sick and tired of being alone! Sick of it!”
After a time of silence I started to imagine what Jesus may say to me if He were here. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment. I’ve heard your struggles through your words, but not through your tears. I’ve felt that you’ve been keeping me at arms length by not showing me your passion, your rage, your intense hurt, the loneliness you’ve been denying. I’ve longed for the time you would let down your guard and truly show me your heart. I feel that we’ve finally really connected. I’ve always known how you felt, but was saddened that you didn’t trust me enough to really give it to me. Thank you for finally being honest with me, and giving me the privilege of having your trust.”
In the moments that followed, I had to wonder if I would have had this moment with God if I were married. Would I have tried to get all my intimacy needs met through my mate, rather than my Savior? I wonder if part of the purpose for our singleness is to put us in a place where the only option for intimacy is with God. He wants us. He doesn’t want other things competing for our attention. Intimacy with Him is not to be displaced by earthly passions. He’s positioned us to seek after Him undistracted by an earthly family, wholly devoted to Him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said;
Alone you stood before God when He called you; and alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and give an account to God. You cannot escape from yourself; for God has singled you out. If you refuse to be alone you are rejecting Christ’s call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together
You never know; tomorrow you may meet Mr. or Miss right, and so may I. In the mean time let’s not pass up the opportunity to get really close to the one who loves us the most.