Warm June Nights
The first time I got on Grindr it was actually kind of boring. Very boring.
I’d logged on –downloaded it, set up an account, started poking around—on a whim, a whim in the middle of a masturbating session that had clouded my judgement in predictable ways.
It was dull. I wasn’t going to talk to anyone, and —this time— I didn’t. I just want to ogle some “hot guys in my area” and gorge on absurd “what-if” scenarios that involved them messaging my blank profile in the middle of the night.
Turns out there weren’t that many hot guys. I immediately felt guilty.
I felt like I had done something dangerous, like I had taken that next step, like I had advanced down a crumbling path that was leading me closer and closer to that most horrible end, to the place where my faith and life would collapse, to Having Sex and losing everything.
I had never had an actual conversation about this. About this idea that it was impossible for me to have sex without completely losing my faith and my relationships and who I was.
But I believed it.
And I’m kind of only realizing now that I believed it then. And how cheap and flimsy my faith would have to be for that to be true. How weak and noncommittal grace would have to be.
And that in many ways that's what I still believe.
I still think that if I delude myself into believing a gay relationship is possible God will utterly forsake me, that God will have to utterly forsake me –no way He could stick around with that—that if I have sex again my relationship with Him will be irreparably crippled, like losing a limb, like missing a letter in hangman: one more strike, impossible to take back. Only a couple more until the little stick figure’s done and the man hangs.
So I’m scared. On that warm June night, once I’m no longer horny, I’m terrified. Or I know I should be, so I work myself up to it, stoke the flame so I’m suitably frightened of what I’ve done and what’s coming up over the horizon.
And I pray, and quake and apologize and, (very wisely, I think) admit that this might happen again, that it probably will, but I ask for strength, remind God of the obvious consequences and how He doesn’t want that either, and when I go to bed I feel happy, and safe.
Not because I feel secure, not because I feel forgiven, not even because I feel like God will always love me. But because I’m confident it could never escalate from here.
That I wouldn’t let it, and neither would God.
I don’t feel the other things.