Ok, today is the day! Today is the day where I have to satisfy my morning with but one cup of coffee. I forgot to pick up my stash of the brown stuff. So, before I sat down to have our conversation this morning, I took a quick trip to the Speedway/SuperAmerica gas station to get a 24 oz. cup of theirs. And, I’ve made sure to make it as tasty as I can possibly get it to be.
Looking down at it’s brown-ness, I can’t help but to think about what I had to go through to get it. It was right there, a bee line from where I live. And, as I set out and started driving, I saw a car all twisted up on the curb, its driver nonchalantly waiting for help. And, rain was falling, so I got all agitated, and worried because the defog in the car is totally temperamental. So, even though I had prayed before I got behind the wheel, I had to pray once more.
“Lord, listen. Please, keep this car safe, and hold back the heavy rain until I get home. Lord, I’m out here with my leopard print head rag on. I just got out of the bed, Lord, and nobody needs to see that. Lord now, I know I shouldn’t have made a run looking like this. But, please take the wheel, and keep a sista’ safe. I don’t need to be caught all run up on the curb looking like this right here! In Jesus’ Holy name, Amen, and Amen.”
Then, I had to start asking myself all kinds of questions like “Why do you care who sees you?” and “Who exactly is going to be looking for you, Jan? You’re a lady of a certain age, who cares?
“I care!” I said out loud in the all-by-my-self-ness of the old Buick Century I was driving. And, when I get to thinking while driving, sometimes the thoughts come faster than the car is actually going.
“Church men are on their way to the church house” I started thinking. “You want a Godly man. These is street bro’s out here, this morning, on their way to the local Waffle House with whatever chick they picked up, and used up, last night. They ain’t thinking about you!”
Yes, I went all the way there in my all aloneness. I keep it real, and I know what’s up. You want to judge me for knowing, that’s your business. But over here, it is, what it is, okay?
So anyway, after I had gotten a nice tall cup of coffee, and started sipping before I had even paid for it, I started thinking about those “church men”.
When I was growing up, church men would marry. They didn’t believe in long periods of dating because they were taught that even holding hands in the darkness of a movie theatre could quite possibly lead to a sexual encounter. Because, no matter how saved you are, when your feelings get ignited, when someone causes you feel, humanity has a way of taking over, and you might break a commandment. It wasn’t a hard thing to find a husband in the church. The single men were plentiful, and they wanted to live right. They didn’t want to be viewed as fleshy in the eyes of the Lord. And, they cared about what the lay members thought of them; how they saw them.
Fast forward 30 years, and look at what’s going on in 2017.
Think about the availability of the Godly, ready, willing, and able, good head on his shoulders, man. Like the mythical Yetti, he is elusive, camouflaged into a background in which he should really stand out. And, that thought is bothersome at the least.
I mean, he’s Godly, right? Then, why can he not be picked out from among the so called sinners, the bad boys, in the bunch? Shouldn’t the brotha stand out, a halo of righteousness over his head symbolizing his availability? Or, does he have to be searched for, the same way we search for God in everything? I mean, we believe that man is made in the image of God, right? Then, is it not logical to think that the search for a Godly man, the perfect man for us, may be more about faith than anything else? Listen, he’s right there. A beeline from where you’re standing, in a sense. But, for some reason, you’re blinded to him.
You thought you saw him once, a good looking man, in the church no less. He carried the Bible close to his chest like a shield, and he uttered “Praise the Lord” a lot. He paid you so much attention that you had to ask God, and a few friends:
“Is he the one?”
Then, you got to know him. Almost everything he said to you was right; almost perfect. Girl, he caressed your ego, and you just liked the guy. He was all that, and some kettle corn. And, every time he said “You are just a beautiful woman(because they think that’s all we want to hear, you know), so beautiful. I thank God for sending me you”, girl your knees could’ve buckled. So, you started thanking God for him, just like he said he did for you. And, all was good. You, at last, were sitting in the Winners Circle.
After months of talking, nothing that crossed the line, just feel good conversation with a person who seemed to understand you in ways that others didn’t, there you were, gathering your cell phone, and your Bible, your lesson books, and your shawl, and you heard that fella, right in earshot, saying the things to Sista Edith, that he always said to you. You tried not to be shocked, but you couldn’t help but be appalled. Emotions are redundant like that. And, that’s why you were blinded in the first place. It wasn’t meant for you to see him. But, you wanted somebody.
And, you’re left, once again, feeling badly.
Your view of him changed. Now, he’s a player. But, you didn’t want to call him that because he’s a Godly man. I’ve got you! I’ll say it!
He’s a player! He’s got a players mentality; play in his wheel. He doesn’t do things in a straight line; it’s a lil crooked. It may not have been your clothes, but he sweet talked his way into gettin’ something out of you, then started trippin’, girl. He is a player! And, he may not even realize it. But, more than likely, he does. He just doesn’t think it’s wrong, because no sex was involved. No sex, no sin, right? Wrong! He played you, and it’s okay to acknowledge that. In fact, it’s healthier for your spirituality if you do.
Do you realize that there are some preachers, some deacons, some lay men, and women in the church who still have play in their wheels? Like the whorish woman, they use their “wiles” to get what they want. You have to come to terms with that. Acknowledge that. If you don’t, you may end up on that metaphorical curb, lookin’ all crazy in your leopard head rag; a stupid look on your face because you’ve crashed, and you should’ve seen it coming.
Todays church is not like the church of 30 years ago. See, the women who didn’t stay around the church like good girls are now back, and they are looking for a man different from the all the guys that ran through ’em in the streets. Yea, I said it. And, the girls who did stay around and never married anybody because nobody in the church was good enough for their bourgeois behinds, are now desperate to get the pick of the litter. And, the men, although church men, they know it.
Now, these guys may think they’re ready, and they may be willing, but girl, for you? They ain’t ready!
I’m not saying they are not saved, or living for the Lord. But, you have certain standards. You know when you’re being used; when they’re blowing smoke up an unholy place. You’ll call ’em on their mess, and you’re supposed to. But, they don’t want to hear that because they are not ready.
“You are just so beautiful” he’ll tell you with the biggest smile he can pull from an arsenal of smiles.
But he’s saying it everybody, girl. Let me tell you something. “Anything learned cannot be unlearned.” Almost every professor at Wright State University said that to me. Back then, it was applicable to my education. Today, I can apply it to life.
If you’ve spent countless years flirting with men, or women, to get your way, to make a way for you to get things your way, picking up a Bible won’t change that. If you’ve learned that by whoring out your smile, and flittering your eyelashes, you can make stuff move, then that’s what you’re going to do. You’re a player; a manipulator. And, the only thing that’s going to change that is the desire to be something different than that.
But, here’s what I think needs to happen. One, I need to drive up to the gas station and get another cup of coffee. And two, in trying to establish your faith, and keep your faith, and hold on to your sanity, you need to point out to the manipulatOR the fact that you feel manipulatED. Stop letting people make you feel a certain way; bear a certain cross. You’ve gone through enough. And, you don’t need anybody playing any silly games with you.
Now, if that means that you end up by yourself, you have to make a choice. Play the same game in the church, with church men, that you played with the street men when you didn’t know better, or want better. Or, you can break the cycle. Love yourself. Get caught up in the love of Christ, and be at peace.
Until our next cup;