My guess is that it was probably about three years ago. I was talking with one of the men in the church I was attending at that time. As we were talking back and forth, I said to him in a very direct, caring kind of way, “Hey, how are you doing?” .
I didn’t know of anything serious going on in his life,or with his family. I was just concerned for him as an individual and so, I asked the question.
This man looked at me, kind of with a “deer in the headlights” look and said, “I’ve never really been asked that before”. (he was referring to more than a passing each other in the hallway “how ya doing?” kind of greeting that guys do).
His response dazed me and that he was an elder at the church, shocked me all the more. I was utterly gripped (and still am) with sadness that anyone (especially a leader in a church) would have such a shortage of relationship with others.
This memory comes to my mind because of the contrast of an experience I just had. I just hung out at a friend of mine’s house. We try to get together at least once a month. Tonight, his wife had gotten us a few sandwiches and we just hung out on his lawn, talking about life.
We shared our gratefulness for all God was doing in our lives, we brought up some concerns we each had, and we talked about just life’s issues that we were thinking about. Often we will also have a word of prayer, although tonight we didn’t.
Someone once said that if a man has one friend that is a “you need anything, I’ve got your back” kind of buddy, he is truly a blessed man.
I’ve got that kind of buddy. I’ve actually got a few and I feel blessed.
Guys, I think generally we can learn alot from the women on this one. Life is not meant to be lived alone. We can’t do it alone. Emotionally and mentally, we are meant to live in relationship.
Honestly, opening up to someone else for me can be hard. It can be even be more difficult when I do trust someone with personal information and find out later that it was shared to others (as has happened). That really can hurt.
I’m still a very private person, but I want to continue to pursue my goal of being a more transparent person. I want to be authentic and have people understand that what they see in me is what they get.
I am a work in progress. I have my shortcomings. Hopefully, as I let people get more into my world, not only will others be more encouraged to also be more genuine and open to others, but hopefully, people will get to know the God I serve in a better way. I can’t think of anything more at the heart of who I am, than the love for my God who is so awesome. I know a God who loves me so much that He would die for me and who now, lives in me through His Spirit.
Not only would I encourage you guys to find another guy friend you can truly be open with and mutually encouraging, but if you haven’t yet, I would also encourage you to open yourself up to a God who desires so much to get in a relationship with you.