The Upside to E-Harmony

Lest anyone think that my time spent on E-Harmony left nothing but a sour taste in my mouth {per my April 2008 comments}, I am writing to state that I have had some divine appointments and have made some wonderful God-blessed friendships as a result of my prior membership.  I am grateful for some seriously sold out Christian men out there and am honored to call them friend.  When Harry Met Sally he vehemently tried to convince her that “men & women can never be friends” but I beg to differ.  Not only is it possible for single men & women to spend time together as “just friends”…it’s HEALTHY.  We need to break out of our selfish mindset about male-female relationships & come to grips with the fact that God calls us first to SERVE one another.   Over the past several months, God has allowed me to be an encouragement to several men that are disillusioned in their quest for a soul mate, even giving them lots of female insight & advice on how to win the {other} girl.   Most importantly, the Lord has used these relationships to spur me into deeper & broader fellowship with Him as I learn & grow from challenging conversations & written discourse from these fellow believers.

On the 4th of July I hung out with T, a dear brother in Christ I met several months ago.  He’s crazy.  There’s no other way to describe him.  A resident of the Peoples Republic of Boulder, T is in the conservative minority in a bastion of liberalism.  Still, he shares his faith with unashamed boldness & conviction that could disarm even the toughest naysayer.  T lives everyday of his life as if his mid-life crisis arrived early and tomorrow will not come at all.  Sometimes being around him is exhilarating,  other times it’s just flat out frightening.  But I learned some really cool things from him this past weekend.  T is the kind of man that when he makes up his mind to do something you can consider it done…like the plan to watch fireworks from Flagstaff Mountain.  He wanted to be up there because the view is spectacular.  Just one problem.  The Boulder police closed the road and no one could access the drive up.  Undeterred by this, T decided we would simply climb the mountain instead.  Not an issue for him, he’s an athlete through & through.  And while I enjoy a good hike, I was completely unprepared for running up the side of a mountain clad in flip flops, in haste to make it before the fireworks began.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, the practical side of me panicked at the thought of climbing down in the dark after the festivities were over.  I was quickly scolded that that’s what cell phone LCD’s are for.  Just the same, I reached into the glove compartment, pulled out a little flashlight and off we went.  T was right, the view was spectacular.  We could see for over 30 miles and got to enjoy fireworks in rapid succession from several Colorado cities.  It was awe-inspiring from our dusty rock perch.  We rubbed sage and scratched pine needles, then huffed them like exotic perfumes.  And as always with T in the outdoors, we talked about our magnificent Creator. 

Fireworks over, soon came the time to venture back down in pitch dark. The moon was virtually worthless this night.  We experimented with several maneuvers until ultimately we ended up with T in front, holding the tiny flashlight illuminating the path directly in front of him. My feeble attempt to generate my own light from the cell phone was useless.  I had to hold tightly to T’s arm and he to mine as I moved my steps in sync with his while we traversed rocky, steep mountainside with no trail in sight.  Several times I stumbled over huge stones in my path but each time his grip on me was solid and he never let me fall.   The trek down this treacherous hill seemed to take forever but T kept talking and encouraging me that “we’re not in a hurry”.  In the absence of sight my mind drifted to the sounds around us…was that a rattlesnake?  T’s tone was comforting and direct, “just hold on tight, follow me & focus on my voice.”  He had climbed this mountain many times and he knew how to get us out of the thick woods.

I see two important spiritual lessons from our adventure on Flagstaff Mountain…the first, that men of God are to look out for their single sisters in the faith, to help us navigate the rough places and protect us from “predators” along the way.  I am grateful that T is that kind of man.  I know that he would come to my rescue anytime, glad to help, expecting nothing in return.  His constant supply of energy often stretches me beyond what I think I am capable of and his depth of knowledge of Scripture provokes thought, challenging me to dive into the Word.  His friendship is a precious gift from the Lord.  Singles would do well to cultivate this kind of public fellowship with one another rather than get all heated up over “falling in love for all the right reasons”.   {Caveat: If indeed, our Lord has a man for me that is all my heart desires, I suspect I’ll find him on the path of friendship, following hard after Jesus.  Isn’t that what we all long for…for our life partner to be our best friend?}

The second lesson came from all the parallels I drew hiking down that mountain in the dark and seeing T as a picture of God…my Heavenly Father knows the dark mountains & valleys that I face every day.  He has traveled them before me and he assures me that I have nothing to fear.  He is walking them closely with me, shining His light, reminding me that to walk in my own light is futile, assuring me that though this is a walk of faith & not sight, I can have complete confidence in the One who is leading…even when I am ill-equipped for the journey and my steps are unsure He bids me to follow closely in His steps.  Griping me tightly, He will not let me fall.  He urges me to shut out the distractions of the world around me & focus on His voice, trusting Him to protect me from danger and to guide me safely home.

As T & I emerged from the woods, I looked up to see directly in front of us, the Big Dipper in a sky as clear and still as any I had ever seen.  I stopped for a moment to enjoy the beauty of the night and to thank T and God that we were safely down off the mountain.  I noted the irony that on this “Independence Day” I had been completely dependent on someone other than myself for my deliverance.  Because of that willingness to be dependent, from a view few others were privy to, I had witnessed beautifully orchestrated Fireworks in the Heavens.


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DiAnna Steele

Child of God, Follower of Jesus, Sister in Christ, Friend to the lost...

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