Of Signs and Audacity

“I Set a Bush On Fire But Didn’t Let It Burn Up…What More Do You Want From Me?” “Lord, I don’t want to need a sign … but I need […]
“I Set a Bush On Fire But Didn’t Let It Burn Up…What More Do You Want From Me?”

“Lord, I don’t want to need a sign … but I need a sign.”  I prayed aloud to God for something — anything — to prove that it, life, would not always be this way. That this was temporary. In reality, I know that everything about this life is temporary. This physical life will wither and fall when the time comes. But assuming that I’d be around in this life for awhile, I was going to have to have that sign. (I know this is muddled rambling, but this is just how I talk to God. He gets me.)

I’ve just had far too many experiences with crappy men. Selfish men. Men who are your “friends” up until the moment they realize that you’re serious about not liking them and they’ll never actually get in your pants. Men who claim to love Jesus, but their lives are so wrought with insecurities that they feel they have to lie and manipulate in order to get what they want. Men who talk on the phone for the first fifteen minutes of lunch until you have no choice but to walk out of the restaurant, cause, really?! you’re just going to have a full-length conversation?! Men who take you out for drinks while they’re secretly waiting to have dinner with somebody else. Men who want to cook for you at their house on a first date instead of taking you some place respectable. Men who are wonderful and gentlemanly and tall with big hands and take you nice places — but don’t love Jesus.  The WRONG MEN.  They are a vastly multiplying species that seem to love to be everywhere I am.  While this makes great fodder for my non-fiction book-turned screenplay, it makes for an exhausting and discouraging real life.  And so, I needed a sign that there were RIGHT men, holy men — in my generation– somewhere.  Even if they weren’t for me, just knowing that they existed in some real place other than the fictionalized world I’m writing would have been enough.

And then I got a tweet:

I’d written a post giving “5 Tips for Celibate Living.” Here’s an excerpt from this young man’s blog post, “An Endangered Species“:

I’m almost 27 years old. I’m a virgin…and I remain so on purpose.
Ok, maybe it hasn’t always been on purpose. I will admit, I didn’t always have that conviction. Up until I was almost 18, it was for lack of “game”, for want of a better term. I was very shy and introverted back then and didn’t have enough nerve to even approach women, let alone pursue anything physical. Halfway through my first semester of college, I decided to become a Disciple of Jesus and actually make every effort to live my life the way he would want me to, and that means –among many other things– holding out until marriage. Wow, great timing, right? I mean, just after I started to break out of my shell, I decided to give up all that I’d never experienced. No sex, no strip clubs, nothing even close to those things. Most guys my age at that time, being surrounded by endless possibilities away from home, would look at you like you were crazy if you asked them to give all that up. However, I figured, if Jesus loved me enough to die –a horrible and gruesome death, mind you—for me, the least I could do is refrain from having sex until I’m married.

Sign #1.

Then I got a call from one of my oldest friends. He showed me what love is. “Brad” (we’ll call him) was dealing with some *serious* and unthinkably emotion-draining issues,  had people depending on him, and had a stressful job.  And yet he *somehow* was able to get over all of that  because he had found the woman he wanted to make happy.  He found the woman he wanted to love, like Christ loves the Church. He didn’t want anyone else, but would’ve been o.k. if she didn’t want him, as long as she was happy. This effectively killed all the noise women spout about a man just needing “time,” a man just having “a lot of issues to work through,” a man who “really really” likes you, BUT (fill in excuse). As Beyonce’ so aptly noted, if he liked it, then he would’ve put a ring on it.  He’s just not that into you, boo.

But beyond that, in Brad’s pursuit of this woman, he embodied Christ’s self-sacrificing desire to see us at our best, living our best life, even if He had to suffer for us to get it.  When this woman told Brad all of the heartache she had been through with the WRONG men, he didn’t laugh at her; he was heartbroken to think that someone could treat his beautiful flower like a weed to be plucked up and discarded. (So if you laughed at my WRONG men story above, your love sucks! Go that way –>.) Anyway, that was sign #2.

I sat on the phone with Brad as he scoured the internet searching for a place in America that would deliver this woman’s favorite — and rare — flower to her job, just to show her that he was listening to her. He paid attention to things she likes. He cares about what she cares about. He found it:

Sign #3

I could go on and on about what Brad showed me about love and Christ that day and the days after. Just take my word for it that there were signs #4,5,6,7,8,9!

And then, I got a Direct Message. (Have I told you “I love Twitter,” lately?) My frat brother Minister Larry Howard, sent me a youtube video of a radio interview he did discussing sex — from a Christian (read: biblical) standpoint. View the awesomeness:

Sign #10.

My point is, Jesus loves us. Should we need Him to prove it to us every day after all He’s already done? No, we shouldn’t. But He knows us and knows what we need. And He gives it to us, whether we deserve it, or not. I asked for a sign. Christ loves me so much that He answered my prayer TENFOLD, at least! Not, “god,” not “the universe,” JESUS CHRIST. And if He did it for me, He’ll certainly do it for you. Will you talk to Him, today? Will you tell Him what you need? Will you allow Him to change your heart so that what you want and need, what you ask Him for is just more of HIM, and nothing / no one else? Will you trust Him to keep His promises to you?

What is so funny is that He gives us burning bushes every single day. We just miss them! Or we fail to acknowledge that they are signs that He is with us, He hasn’t forgotten us. He loves us.  As you wait patiently on God, here is a little encouragement from my newly discovered and favorite scripture, Habbakuk 2:3: “If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.” Let God’s faithfulness be the sign you’ve been asking for.

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About DCDistrictDiva

Brooke Obie is the District Diva, an award-winning spiritual life blogger, writer and author living in a cool district in Manhattan. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @BrookeObie.