I haven’t ever really felt “safe” around too many men. And to be honest, I haven’t consistently always been the safest man.
In our world of competition, comparison, achievement, consumption, and struggle, we seem to convince ourselves it’s better to be “safely” distanced so that we can do what we must in order to survive, strive, and achieve.
Sadly, this keeps us, no matter how spiritually inclined we may be, from being vulnerable, accessible, authentic, approachable, and safe. Keeping ourselves at such a safe distance may indeed help us avoid the pains others may inflict, and from potentially inflicting pains upon others – but we also miss out on much goodness.
Consider beauty for example. How safe is beauty with most men?
For many, we may say we appreciate beauty, but find ourselves wanting to devour it, and consume it. We find it hard to be truly present with it. We may even tend to use it as a form of escape, and as a way to numb our pains. Like a drug, we seek to inject the innate goodness of beauty into our hungry souls. This isn’t safe.
At an attempt for safety, some go so far as working up methods designed to keep themselves away from certain types of beauty. For the temptations of “the flesh” it brings to them is simply too much. With this, unfortunately, we begin to see beauty almost as something bad, because we can’t trust ourselves with it. It’s not safe with us – and so we demand it to be covered, hidden, avoided, and shamed.
However, God is surrounded by beauty. He is beauty, and as the Psalmist declares, “beauty and honor is His sanctuary”.
Consider that – beauty is honored, and there is safety for it. In fact, when honor and beauty are together – it is a sanctuary. Love, not lust, abounds, and there is power and strength in that. It is holy.
May we grow to be safer, and stronger so that we neither fear beauty, hunger to consume it, or scramble to hide it away. Instead, we honor it. Beauty, even in other men, can be safe with us, protected, appreciated, acknowledged, and delighted in.
Think of John feeling safe enough to rest himself on Jesus’ chest, and the safety of the woman who knelt to wash His feet, as well as the woman safe enough to be alone with Him at the well.
Such positions of human vulnerability are as beautiful as any sunrise, mountain scape, and seaside – and it is honored because the man it’s with is safe.
Beauty is good. God is good, and God is safe, and as such, we too in Christ are capable of being good, safe, strong, and honoring men too.