That’s how I started out the question. I was at a table and three men, part of the large group of random associates there, were talking about something. I couldn’t be sure what exactly they meant, because I was trying NOT to listen, because it honestly just sounded like a conversation I wouldn’t expect a Holy man to have.
It sounded like a conversation objectifying women. Talking explicitly about the kind of women you find in certain cities, and what, physically, is good about them.
But like i’ve said a lot before, I try to operate out of a spirit of trust. Hey, it sounded bad, but I had just gotten done having two conversations that would have sounded terrible if you didn’t know the context.
Point is, I turned to the man next to me and said, “I don’t think I want to be involved in this conversation.”
“Well, do you want to be involved in these fries?”
So I tried to just talk to him, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t just sit next to three men who had just talked about church and listen to them say that the most beautiful women are here, no they are here, no those ones aren’t pretty enough….So, assuming I must have been missing a huge point, I turned to the one I knew the best (meaning I’d met him once before) and said,
“Can I ask a question? It’s going to sound like an attack, but I promise it’s not. I just don’t understand, but I know you can explain it to me. How is this conversation not objectifying?”
And had I asked my friends at the table, the people who knew me, they just would have explained. They would have believed me when I said I just wanted to understand, that I trusted them and knew I had the wrong impression, but that I wanted the right one and I figured they wouldn’t mind giving it to me.
But instead I asked three essential strangers. And I wonder now if I should have just kept my dang mouth closed.
It’s a recurring theme in my thoughts lately: Is it better, if you perceive what might be sin, to just ask? Whether like tonight out of an effort to keep yourself from sinning by assuming the worst, or sincere desire to better know someone’s heart, or even just to keep them from sinning, should that be the case…
Because six months ago, I would have cared because I wanted them to like me. But now, even if the dudes are ticked at me forever, I don’t care. But I do care about their holiness. And I’m pretty sure that at any moment, I’m willing to ask the question that makes a new acquaintance decide they don’t like me, if it also means that at the end of the night I face my maker and know I passed up no chance to help keep my brothers accountable.
I know, there is more to this. You’ve got to take into account relationships differ and some people don’t assume trust, that the Spirit guides and we follow him…but I thought maybe you could relate, so I just wanted to tell you.