Chips In The Oil

Recently, I was talking to a guy friend. Former boyfriend actually. I asked him if he had met anyone interesting and he said “no, my life is pretty boring lately. Besides, I have changed so much. I used to manipulate women with my sad stories and am just too old for the games now.” “Sad stories?” “Yes. I used to tell women how poor I was as a kid and then they would feel sorry for me and I would get sympathy sex.” “Oh really?” I nonchalantly replied as I quickly ran a scan on my memory hard drive. “Yes, one story I told was how we were soooo poor that we could not buy potato chips so my mother would peel a couple of slices off of potato and drop them into the oil so we could have a couple of chips with our lunch.

I started to laugh knowingly. Embarrassed, he asked if he happened to tell me that story too. “Yes, actually you did.” “Did it work on you?”  “No, I recall I told you that I was sorry you were poor and offered to buy you the biggest bag of chips I could find to make up for it.” He laughed” Sometimes, you are just cold.” I just smiled and thought…Not cold, it just took you a little longer to suck me in.

Now I am talking about a lovely man who just happens to be a non-believer. He does not know how to act or think any other way than the flesh. If you recall I just asked him if he had met anyone interesting and I never asked if he was sleeping with anyone. Now I know some of you are thinking but I don’t know those kinds of men. I only know GODLY single men who would never play games. But just because you found yourself a single “Christian” man doesn’t mean anything until he repeatedly proves it by his actions. Don’t be so naive to think that some Godly men aren’t tossing a few slices in the oil and calling it Jesus.

I know some single Christian women who cry about not having a man but never venture out to find one. They basically drive to work and back home again. Now unless a man hurls himself onto your windshield how do you expect to ever meet one? It’s impossible. Reminds me of the homebody roommate I had years ago who developed a strange crush on the Dominoes delivery guy.  Yep. Ordered it every weekend for over a year. Big world out there when you decide to participate.

Or what about the single women who continue to throw their lines into a limited pond? You know the ones. They go to church on Sunday, Wednesday and any other day it is open. They attend every conference, talk, or workshop, and all fight over the same 5 single men who are not available because they are also on the hunt and you ain’t her!

Then one day these women start to panic at living life alone and they jump at the first sighting of something that LOOKS Godly. You say well that is certainly not me but then you find yourself putting on something nice and starting to hit the groups you have never been to. You have traded a past life of hitting the bars for a church crawl so you can soberly scope out the available Godly talent. You are determined not to spend one more Holiday alone. You look around the room and observe the pack for a while. You ignore the speaker because you are too busy categorizing every male in the place. Hmmm, married, taken, too old, too young, crazy, weird, homeless, potential stalker, and then you see someone who appears normal and available. You watch from afar and are suddenly mesmerized by how he raises his hands and voice in worship. His left hand is ringless and you are encouraged. He occasionally pauses to flip open his bible and you know the Lord is speaking words of wisdom to him. He is not easily distracted and listens intently to the speakers. Your heart races and you think oh I want a Godly man just like him! One that worships and reads his bible! I can even bring him to conferences instead of going with my girlfriends. We can volunteer together and start a ministry and and and….. Girl wake up. Let me slap you upside your head right now before you get caught up in the trance. As soon as he bags you or his ideal woman he won’t be going to any more conferences. I don’t care how Godly he looks as only time will tell if he is just playing your game. The “I know you all are looking for a Godly man so I will gladly play the part” game. Are all men like this? No. But take the time to check it out. Just sayin.

Next time you spot someone new take a breath and pause before you get all tingly because he appears to be the man you have been waiting for. Or stop when fear grips you and you feel like you will live the rest of your days alone. So ALONE that you will probably lie dead on the floor for days with your face half eaten away by your 8 cats before anyone thinks to check on you. Don’t let that fear or panic control you so that you plan to grab the next available guy that comes along just because you are afraid you have no other options.

You shake your head and say that is not me but we all know how it starts…ha! Is he single? Yes? Really? Oh my! Single AND a Christian! This must be the one. I know Papa God said I would meet my mate in church one day. He is kind of cute but I would definitely have to dress him differently and OMGoodness his hair! He does need a woman. I hope he has a job. No? That’s okay we can start our ministry right away. What? He does? A good job? Yay, God! DING DING DING DING DING!!!!! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Now I KNOW he is the one. Why else would God have me come here on this particular night AND me having a good hair day? Single, Christian, and a job! Yes, I could definitely make this work!!!!!

Slow down Ruth and wait for your Boaz. God may have some work to do on him yet. Or worse yet maybe some work to do on you. Gasp! Be open to being led by God, even if it means having to get out of your house, church, or nearest revival center to do it. There just might be some lovely man out in the world who isn’t quite a Christian yet. Remember you weren’t always quite the believer you are now. Or it might be someone you would never think would be your type. Or someone you already met or see on a regular basis and I am not talking about the pizza guy. Might be someone who would be perfect for you if you just gave him half a chance to prove he is or could be the Godly man you always hoped for.

Plant Parent

Many years ago, I belonged to a large church and there always seemed to be someone promoting their kid’s school fundraiser. I bought a live plant arrangement but didn’t pick it up for two weeks. Of course, by then, it was almost dead, and the parent told me she would refund my money. Nah, that’s okay, I told her and planned discreetly to discard it on my way out.

I then saw an older couple with their 40-something son, Billy, who had recently gotten out of treatment. He had moved back in with them and they were concerned, as he was extremely depressed. He felt like a huge loser who would never redeem himself in life because he had wasted so much of it with drugs and alcohol. The couple had asked us to pray for Billy, as he spent most of his day in bed, and they were afraid he was suicidal.

I smiled and waved as I passed them by and God said, “Stop and give Billy the plant. Tell him I want him to bring it back to life.”

I thought, Nah!. Why would God want me to give this depressed guy a dead plant? God persisted and whispered, “trust me”, so I finally turned around and handed it to Billy. “Yes, I know this is weird, but God told me to give you this plant and that you would bring it back to life.” Billy laughed, ” You mean resurrect it?” ” I smiled. “Yes. I’m serious.” I laid my hands on him and said a prayer for healing, and then I left.

A month later, I ran into this same family again after church. I was so glad to see a happier Billy, who was also sporting a new haircut and a sharp buttoned-down shirt. “Hey, Jeanne! I saved that plant you gave me and I now have it sitting in my bedroom window.” I thought he was kidding and figured the plant had died the next day. But as Billy wandered off to get coffee, his mother told me he tended to that plant every day. He was so touched that God had spoken to me about him, he was taking the responsibility seriously. She said she watched as he came out of his depression because he now had something to put his focus on other than himself.

God brought this memory back to me yesterday. I got teared up all over again. God is so amazing. He can take something so simple and heal through it. He can work through anyone and that means you and me! Next time you feel like God is asking you to do something “odd” feel stupid and do it, anyway. You might just be planting a seed or literally helping to bring someone back to life.