OK, I’ll admit it. I finally did what I said I would never do: I signed up for an online dating service. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really hard to find men, particularly when you’re a writer like me who hangs at home a lot of the time.
What really prompted me to sign up for the dating service was a friend I met at church at few months ago. She’s divorced and we went out for coffee on Saturday. She’s been meeting men through online dating for several months now. She also goes out to “meetups” which are groups of people who get together to go to restaurants, etc. As we sat in Starbucks, she told me all the ins and outs of using the dating services, and she said I really needed to gather the courage to do it.
So I did. Now I feel like I’m a scuba diver in a pool of sharks. And they’re circling. They’re even messaging me from other states. There’s one guy who wants to start a relationship from Washington, DC. I’m across the country in Washington state.
Here’s the real reason why I did it. I met this man a few months ago. He’s the owner of the auto shop I took my car to for repairs. And as God would have it, the first time I laid eyes on him, he was doing something very kind for someone else. An elderly man was standing on the other side of the counter from him, and he was apparently lost. So the auto shop owner was very patiently trying to help him, even though the man didn’t have the address of the place he was getting to. It struck me immediately that the owner of the auto shop was a quality person. When I brought the car to be worked on the next day, I drove him to my home so he could drop me off, and take my car back. He came and got me later in his truck, and held the door open for me. And when he got in on his side, and I realized that the bottom part of the seat on my side was pitched up so that my feet were literally dangling (I’m 5’1″, it doesn’t take much), he quickly got back out and came over to my side and adjusted the seat. As we drove back to his shop, we talked about things and I was smitten. He had treated me like a lady. And his quiet, thoughtful demeanor was like a balm to my soul.
I felt like there was a connection between us, so I sent him a thank-you note the next day. But I didn’t hear from him again. I found his Facebook page, and saw that he was in a relationship. Hmmm. OK. However, as God would have it, six weeks later, (about a week ago), my alternator went out and left me and my girls stranded on a freeway off-ramp about 5 miles from my home. I had a tow truck operator leave my truck at his auto shop, and the next day, he called me and my heart went pitypat again. He came and picked me up again (and didn’t have to ask where I lived), and we chatted for the short 10-15 minute drive. When we got to his shop, he showed me the card I’d sent him 6 weeks before. It was still sitting on his desk, and he said it had really meant a lot to him.
The thing is, I was married for 25 years. I’ve forgotten how to flirt. And I don’t want to go overboard. I don’t want to act like a dog in heat. I checked his Facebook page again. It no longer said he was in a relationship. (!!!) But it’s been a week since I’ve seen him, and no call. And I don’t want to sit and watch the phone not ring. So here I am, in a pool of circling sharks.
The whole thing has made me question my looks. My allure. Whether I’m still attractive to men. Over the weekend, I was standing in my bathroom and a ray of sunlight came through the small window and hit me at a very unflattering angle. It exaggerated every wrinkle, expecially on my neck. My confidence began to erode. I must have spent the next 15 minutes checking my neck from every conceivable angle, sure that it was the deal breaker. Stupid, right?
It’s so easy to forget who we are in Christ, and Christ in us. Later, as I pondered that thought, I was sitting in my living room, gazing at our little Christmas village on the table near the window. Every Christmas, we put the church on a box, higher than the rest of the village, as though it is on a hill over the town. The light streamed from its windows. I realized it wasn’t the church that was beautiful in itself, but the light, His light. A church is just a church, vacant and dark, until He sets it alight. Even a cathedral with exquisite stained glass windows is unexceptional until light shines through and exposes its beauty. And outer beauty is vacant and unexceptional until Christ’s light shines from within. Why would I question my beauty when I know His light is streaming from the windows of my soul?
I am alight. And the right man will be drawn to the incomprehensible beauty of Jesus within me.