Intimacy Musings: Being There

I keep threatening to write something rather lengthy and formal about intimacy. I’m not sure  that I ever will, but I had an experience this morning that reminded me yet again how that kind of closeness and trust reaches beyond most other relationships.

The doorbell rang. A friend I haven’t spoken to or even emailed with in the better part of a year was on the doorstep. “Here,” she said. She handed me three different containers of alcohol. “I need to get these out of my house.”

You don’t have to drive to my house to get rid of alcohol. You can just pour it down the drain. Sometimes, a person drives to your house because they need you. They need you to know they are in trouble, and they trust you to help.

We have choices, don’t we?

We can accept things at face value, or we can choose to see what people are trying to tell us.

I need you.

I remember the line in the John Cusack film Say Anything, when the girl who broke his heart shows up and says, “I need you.” He asks, “Do you need someone, or do you just need me?”

She hesitates. I think she hesitates because she really doesn’t know the answer.

Then he says, “It doesn’t matter.”

Building intimacy is about letting it not matter. It’s about being there, without too many questions. Just be there.

Growing Up Blind – John Warren (part 5, After College)

This is the conclusion of a 5 part essay for the Essays on a WV Childhood project.  To go to the beginning of the essay and start with part 1, click here.

Growing Up Blind (part 5, After College) 

 

30 years of John's journals, 1980-2010

 

 Ironically, so many Christians befriending me in spite of my struggles had an effect they didn’t anticipate.  I felt intense guilt for being attracted to other men, but I was greatly encouraged that there were people who knew the ugly truth about me and still chose to be my friend.  There was a part of me that began to think, “Hey, if these people will still be my friend, then maybe this is not such a horrible thing after all.”  

In the years after I graduated from college there were many times I felt that I had to choose between my faith and my sexuality, and for many years I chose Christianity. The prolonged conflict between these aspects of my personality, however, took its toll.  At the age of 32 I took a job in a new city and took the next seven years off from church.  

Today, I describe myself as an agnostic.  My beliefs have changed, and I am no longer convinced that it is a sin to act on my sexual desires.  I am now 42 years old and for the first time in my life I am ready to date someone of the same gender.  

Whatever happens, you can be sure I’ll record every major development in my journal.

Image credits: John Warren