I enjoy being a friendly person, waving to people as I drive by, saying hello to strangers and smiling at almost anyone.
A few months ago I said hello to someone as I was walking into the store and he was so pleased that he stopped to introduce himself and tell me where he was from since he had recently moved to this city. About five minutes later in the store he found me in the soup aisle to ask if I was married. Yes I am… Awkward!!!
A few weeks later as I was leaving the gym a nice guy held the door for me so as we were crossing into the parking lot I asked if he had a good workout. He said, “It was fine… just like you’re looking, what are you doing here?” Umm… thanks?… Awkward!!!
Once more, I was working out one day on a machine. I get pretty pumped up while I am working out and I generally wave, smile or give a thumbs up to anyone I see walk by. Well I waved at one guy who did a double take and then later found me while I was lifting weights and said, “I saw you wave at me earlier… I hope your husband isn’t here.” Awkward!!! I quickly explained that my husband doesn’t mind when I am friendly to others and he quickly bolted away from me… AWKWARD!!!
Now please don’t assume that I am only friendly to men, I am just as friendly if not more friendly to women, but women don’t usually misunderstand my friendliness as an advance or attraction.
Why is a genuine hello or taking a small interest in someone’s activity or a friendly wave being misunderstood as a romantic advance?
I just recently started a new book, Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire by Joseph Langford. Within the first few pages I read one of Mother Teresa’s quotes that brought all of these instances quickly flooding back into my memory.
Mother Teresa said, “In the west there is not only hunger for food. I see a big hunger for love. That is the greatest hunger, to be loved.”
Mother Teresa understood both sides of this hunger or this thirst and placed Jesus’ words, I thirst (John 19:28), on the walls of her chapels around the world.
Oh… how we are all craving, thirsting for love and not finding it because we are looking in the wrong places. Lord please open our eyes to see that You alone can quench our thirst for love, and through coming to You we can quench Your thirst, Your desire for us to come home to You!