IS TINDER TENDER?

I never met the man. His picture on Tinder was interesting, not really handsome, just interesting. I am intrigued by interesting, so when we were a match on Tinder I decided to give him a chance.

It started with a message on Tinder. He had asked me out to dinner and I had accepted. The first time he called me I felt as if I was going through an inquisition.

The questions were thrown at me with velocity, almost as if anger were the driving force.

“What do you do for a living?” I replied that I worked in home health.

“Which church do you go to?”

“Well I used to go to Gateway but now I go to a neighborhood church that is much smaller. I like the smaller aspect of this church.”

“Are you a night owl?”

“Well, sometimes I stay up late but not always.”

He interrupted rudely. “This is a yes or no question. Are you or aren’t you a night owl?”

“I would say I can be a night owl on most nights.”

He replied with firmness in his tone. “I can stay up till one or two in the morning and then get up at five am and go to work and if I go to bed at ten pm then I wake up at three am. I don’t need sleep.”

I was tempted to say that he may need sleep more than he suspected because he was just a more rude than most chaps… but I held my tongue in check.

He asked me out to dinner the next night. It was a Monday night. Monday nights are my Bible Study nights and for the record I love hanging out with my group of friends as we study the Bible. I find that the comfort I receive from that family of God far supersedes any fun or excitement I have on most dates.

So we made arrangements to have dinner together on Tuesday night. He said he would call me when he was done with work.

I didn’t give it much thought on Tuesday. I noticed I had a voicemail at about 7-8 that evening and instead of listening to it, I just called him back.

He started to tell me what he had done all evening, as if we were old friends and this was a common occurrence. In the conversation he mentioned that he had already had dinner. Then he said “You can come over to watch television with me on my couch.”

Really?!!! Wow! This guy lives clear across town from me, it was dark, I never drive in the dark and he wanted me to watch TV with him. Golly Gee, how exciting! NOT!!!

I rarely watch TV at all. In fact the most glorious week of my life was last summer in the Dominican Republic where there was no TV and I was privileged to engage in meaningful conversation with my son.

The really hilarious aspect of this conversation was that his tone of voice suggested that watching TV was a magnificent way to spend the evening.

I paused for just a second then decided I may as well burst this guy’s bubble sooner rather than later. “Well, right now I am walking and when I get done doing that I will be going back to work. Most evenings I am documenting on my computer in my home and I never watch TV. I usually work most evenings because that is what my job requires me to do. (I didn’t mention to him that I have most weekends free because I don’t intend to waste them sitting on someone’s couch watching other people live their lives on a stupid black box.)

His response stunned me. “Well, then why are you wasting my time? Why are you even online? You are just wasting everyone’s time. You should take your profile down!” He was really angry and he hung up on me.

I heard a faint knock on my heart saying. “You know he meant to hurt you. You should cry a few tears at least. You really do work a lot of hours and it does make it very difficult for you to invest time in a relationship.”

The knock was the devil trying to get into the locked room of broken dreams and heartache. A room I have locked with Faith and Hope that God is in control and He will keep my heart within His hands until the man I am to marry finally meets me.

I kept walking and then busted out in laughter instead of tears. This man was merely not the one for me. I was so thankful that he had been honest and truthful right up front instead of wasting my time with manipulation. I hope he finds someone who really enjoys watching television with him but it wasn’t going to be me because as soon as I got home I was going back to work.

MY OLD FRIEND

“Hello darkness, my old friend.”

I thought you were gone. I have done everything within my power to force you to leave. Each time I take a deep breath and think I am clear of your influence, I realize that you are still lurking in the shadows of my present life.

I was deceived. You slipped in as a friend, then became my lover and soon my thoughts were not my own. You were the judge of every move I made and every word I spoke. You domineered every spare second I had, making sure it was spent to please you.

My relationship with God suffered because I had opened the door to you… yet again. I felt the torture tearing at my spirit. I didn’t want my thoughts and time to be spent on you. I intended the focus of my life to be God centered.

My friends said they saw the change. You were stealing my joy. I was no longer what I had once been. I missed who I had been and joy was becoming a reality I could no longer grasp.

The mess you made of my heart was horrendous. Somewhere deep inside of my psyche I knew I was playing a role. I had been an actress when I was younger and the acting job I did for you should have attained an Academy Award. I chose to pretend I was happy, when each and every moment I was dying inside.

Finally I attained the strength to walk away from you. It wasn’t easy. The memories still haunt me at times. I mean we were friends at first and then lovers. We did have some good times but they were shallow and empty. The times we had couldn’t even touch the wonder of the times I have had with God.

Yet my body still cries out for the excitement of your embrace. Yes, my flesh still lusts for your hands to caress my body.

I have to remind myself why I locked you away. I am joyous again. My time is now my own. I know I have locked you in the closets of my mind for a righteous and holy reason; to be closer to God.

But you keep screaming out, reminding me of the “fun” we had, enticing me to think that my life is boring without you. I scream back at you, “I am at peace! Leave me alone!” You back off for a moment and then come slithering into my mind on yet another unknown path. I hate you in one minute and love you in the next second.

To be in your embrace is to betray myself. I know this… so why am I searching for the key to unlock the door to the darkness of Temptation?

PEACE OF SUMMERTIME

It was only a short time ago when the insanity of violence shattered the calm of my neighboring city of Dallas. It was hard to wrap any logic around the killing of five police officers. It is times like these when my spirit searches for peace.

I commonly go for long walks in the evening. Even in the heat of the Texas summer I will head out as the sun sinks into the blanket of the western sky. I take in the beauty of my surroundings, observing the lush landscaping of my neighbors’ yards and the beauty of the meadows.

On a normal day, the beauty of my neighborhood can calm my spirit but not after the police were killed. I needed something more, something to touch my senses on a deeper level.

That is when I heard it; the Symphony of Summertime. I know it happens every summer but I hadn’t given it notice.

This spring when the rains hit the frogs started the bass portion of the Symphony,they would lull me to sleep as their ribbits broke the stillness of my backyard. As the Spring morphed into summer the crickets added their lullaby, then the Cicada’s harmony set in only to be interrupted by the staccato chirp of a Cardinal.

So many of these melodies calmed my spirit as a child. As I reach back into my memories I realize that though the violence of the world threatens my sense of peace, my God is still the conductor of the Symphony of Summertime.

DALLAS SHOOTINGS

I have pondered and contemplated how to address the shootings in Dallas. I still don’t know that I have figured it out. So I figured I would do a stream of consciousness writing and see where it goes…

To the African American people..

I understand that you are angry and yes, you have every right to be angry. To be killed by a white police officer for little to no reason is not justifiable in any circumstance. To be killed because you are brandishing a weapon and or acting like you have a weapon is putting yourself in a position where you have put your life on the line. If a police officer kills you because he thinks that his life is in danger it is partly your fault.

Dallas was a city where the race differential was minimal. For a black man to go all out crazy and kill five white police officers and wound seven other civilians did nothing to help the cause of the African Americans who were unjustly killed.

I know a person whose grandson was killed by a white police officer, she was a coworker of mine. The wonderful African American man who lost his life was named Christian Taylor. He was a very handsome young man with a very promising future. When I saw the report coming out about his death I had no idea he was the grandson of one of my coworkers. Only later did I realize the connection.

I waited a couple of days before I broached the subject to her and she said that the family had asked that no rioting occur on behalf of his death. Many well known people flew in to honor him. The family wanted his passing to be peaceful.

Their main concern was to find out who had slipped him the drugs which had made him act crazy. He was normally a wonderful Christian young man. It was only this one night where he got out of control. I believe that he is with God now.

I was so impressed and thankful for the way the family honored this precious young man. Instead of handing his legacy to fuel the fire for more violence, they sought to identify the cause for his change in behavior.

Christian Taylor still haunts my thoughts on many a day. It is with true sadness that I think of him. He had so much to offer the world and in one night it ended. Yet his family chose to honor the memory of him with peace instead of violence. What a legacy for a young man who was a class act.