I'd sent Grant a quick thank-you note for dinner the other evening, mentioning that if he was ever interested in attending church with me, he was always welcome. He responded this morning in a polite but decisive negative, saying that he did not want to attempt to understand any religion, and he was really looking for a woman he could spend time with and take to bed. Well, that concluded that particular social interaction. I replied immediately with thanks for his clarity, and that while I was also seeking someone with whom to spend time and take to bed, I wanted this to be in a marital context and that my spouse be a fellow believer.
Then, I went off in a corner and cried for 10 minutes.
However, again I have reached a new stage in relationship management. Given similar disappointments in the past, I would have prayed to ask God to send me a good, godly guy as quickly as possible to mend my bruised heart. Now, I just pray that I'll heal, that even without a legitimate outlet to this sexual frustration, I'll have the guts to go on and be happy alone.
I've begun to think that there is huge misreading of the Paulinian admonition "it is better to marry than to burn", to the effect that most people assume one *can* marry rather than stew in one's own juices, when as we know this is not always the case. Is it not a false doctrine to assume that refraining from indulgence in a particular sin necessarily means participation in a mainstream lifestyle (thus, the frequently erring notion among some evangelicals of "curing" homosexuals by converting them into married heterosexuals)? Sometimes, you just have to deal. You can't always find a way to respond actively to certain temptations, you just have to simmer silently, seeking to distract yourself constructively elsewhere. Celibacy is a benign calling for some, and a burdensome chore for others, but for all people at different times in their lives it is a necessity. We aren't promised physical or emotional satisfaction in the things of this world when we decide to follow Jesus. In fact, the suffering that attends us is often misunderstood not only by the world (celibacy is such a quaint anachronism to most these days), but also by fellow Christians, who seem unable to cognitively process the idea that even "legitimate" sensual and otherwise fulfillment is and will continue to be lacking in someone's life.
Once again, I am grateful to the Almighty for my friends. I may be poor and severely underemployed, single and silly, but I have been welcomed into house after house by sweet couples who assure me that I am loved, that they like having me around, and that they've even gone out of their way to gear up for my arrival with gallons of skim milk! After all, who really could dream of more?!