(Don’t front, you smiled when you saw the title…didn’t you?) I ain’t even gonna lie…when I saw the question posed: “Which class would you enjoy the most?” I looked at the pics below, and proudly proclaimed “Oooooh….he could get it” to the ones I would love to spend “quality time” with. Quality time as in a walk in the park? Read a nice novel by a fireplace? Sip a cappuccino at the local Starbucks? Umm, yea…no. How about “Men I’d like to **** for $500, Alex.” Many of yall may not admit it (right now), but we-ladies universally know what another sistah means when she says “Oooooh…He Could Get It.”
It is a nice short phrase that gives us a warm…fuzzy feeling and makes us smile, if not outwardly, at least on the inside. We high-five our girlfriends with the “I know that’s right” look, turn our chairs around to stare a brother down, and for the bold ones, proceed with a narrative of all the things that would be done to him if they had that “quality time” alone. When the object of our eye is a celebrity that we will probably never meet, we toss it up to fun fantasies and harmless “girl talk” shenanigans.
But have we really stopped to think about that phrase “He could get it?” What if I were trapped in a dark room with any of the guys above? What if I knew we could do whatever we wanted and no one would find out? Do goals of connecting, dreams of relationship, or aspirations of friendship accompany my fantasies about of sweaty flesh? What would happen…after he got it?
And how much do our fantasies define how we treat our realities?
This past week, I read two separate tragic stories about two different men–one a pastor and the other a college student–who were convicted of having sex with several others without disclosing their HIV status. Both attracted their partners very differently: one was attractive because of the power of the pulpit; the other was attractive because of his looks and physique and access due to being an athlete. To be clear: this post in not about judgment; this post is also not about grace–which God freely gives as He wishes, and I do pray grace and mercy is granted to all that is affected by these tragedies. This post is also not a sex-ed course. This is about being real…as humans. When I heard about the two men–and before reading or researching the stories–I thought like many people thought: “good for those a**holes, go to jail.” (and they definitely should go to jail for what they did). But I took a step back and read both stories, and even saw the pic of one of them (to the left). I had to honestly ask myself “if I did not know his story, and was just flipping through instagram (where this pic was posted), or met him at an event, would I stop to ask ANY questions before I said “Oooooh…he could get it?” And even in the “get to know you” stage, would my desire to “get it” blind me from asking reasonable rational questions? Would there even be that many questions? This was truly a mirror moment for me, because it had nothing to do with the fact that I am currently celibate, or that I would like to think I “know better” (whatever the hell that means). There definitely was a time where out of want for relationship, feeling lonely, or just because a brotha had it going on, I was looking out for flesh, not faith. I realized how human we are. I realized how the need to want to be desired–whether it was the men or their partners–can really cloud sound judgment. And while those persons exposed to the virus by these two men. have been labeled as “victims,” I feel the victimization goes both ways. Had the young man never had the virus, he would have been some man or woman’s conquest; just a random man among the list of many handsome men that folks would willingly want to grab on, lick, stroke (tell the kids to go to bed now, this is real talk), sleep with. And if ever the opportunity arose where all of the above and more were to happen–even if there was no chance of a relationship–many would gladly smile, roll over, smoke a cigarette and declare “Oooooh…he did that.” I began to empathize with both the convicted men and the victims (and there were a lot of victims by the way). Both men knew that their positions and presence would lure people to say “Oooooh…he could get it”–because that’s what humans not only say…but they act on it. And as a result, simple attraction melted into lust. And unfortunately, they all…got it.
Have we downgraded attractiveness to lust and skipped over the desire to engage in conversation or simply get to know more about the other person…just to satisfy our self-fulfilling prophesy? That he or she…could get it?
What is my point? My point is that we need to redefine what our “it” is. Let me just say it how I would say it if you were my crying girlfriend sitting on my couch right now: GIRL! Your “it” is the $H*T! And I am NOT talking about the “it” between your legs (newsflash: women think from down-below just as much as men do…or else Maury Povich would be out of a job), although she is a prize too. I am talking about that Proverbs 4:23 “IT”: “Guard your heart above everything else, for IT determines the course of your life.” (ESV). And let’s stop right there for a moment..the passage does not say “when you get around to it, guard your heart” or “after you have thought about it, guard your heart.” Nor does it say “after posting a couple selfies, or after he takes you out to dinner, then guard your heart.” NO! It says ABOVE AYATHANG UNDER THE SUN, PROTECT YOUR HEART! It was sad to hear how many people became exposed to the HIV virus from simply interacting with these men on social media. And again, there are so many lessons from that in itself, but my main point is that those persons were not guarded from jump. Boundaries weren’t set…a picket fence was not created. And this is a societal epidemic, not just the victims. So much talk in our culture revolves around “wrapping up” our privates before having sex, which AGAIN focuses on the other “it.” We need to wrap up our hearts! Unfortunately, we find out often too late that life is really in the unseen and the unknown.
Know this, God would not have instructed us to “guard our heart” if our heart was not under attack. You never have to guard what is already safe. Our day to day lives–whether we acknowledge it or not–is a fight for our heart. Music, news, food, work, family….ALL compete to take priority in our lives. The only way to combat is to have a heart that is ready to say “Ba-Bye” to thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are not conducive with a purpose driven life, and that aim to distract us from a growing relationship with God. Even with all the best humanly intentions, there are things outside of our control that are working to destroy us. Many would just chalk this all up to “making the right choices”–which is basically saying that we humans have all the power in ourselves to do what is right and what is wrong. I struggle with that notion…because I know myself! I believe we all have free will, and that we do have great power…but I also believe we are limited in our thinking and do not have the ability to foresee all the consequences of our actions. This is why I don’t drive without a seatbelt. Sure, I think I’m a good driver…never caused an accident. But the seatbelt helps protect against unseen dangers while driving. Most days, I come out fine. But the couple of times I’ve been rear-ended, it was the seatbelt that kept me from flying out the car. This proves that the act of “guarding” is a necessary practice regardless of whether we perceive danger is coming our way or not. Our relationship with God (and not just knowledge of Him) is our seatbelt, and being thoughtful about what we say and do is our GEICO. The combination of the two actively working may seem a bit cautious to the masses, but the outcome is a more insured life.
As a single lady who is altogether silly and playful, I foresee making remarks about attractive men here and there. But what many do not see underneath the jokes and the tweets is the daily guarding I do every morning: my prayer partner calls, my meditations, my devotionals. My “it” is at a place where not just any man can enter. For now, it belongs to Jesus. And ooooooo-weeeeee, He could get it!
Redefining my IT!
Let us continue to keep in prayer all who unfortunately are living with decisions they wish they could take back. It is only because of God’s grace and mercy that we are not living with all the destruction we deserve. Let’s continue to uproot, uplift, and uphold each other, and resist condemning those who may not know God yet, or who do know Him and are struggling. To all works in progress, don’t quit. Agape.