This man was seeking intimacy ... relationship ... love. In his pursuit for that closeness, he shared something which was probably the most intimate thing he could share ... the scars and equipment from a surgery that left his life forever changed.
Never mind how appropriate or inappropriate the world may think what he did was, he shared what he could ... in search of relationship.
Yes, on one hand, this makes you see how disillusioned some folks can get in their desperate search for intimacy ... how easy it is to fulfill that need in unhealthy ways if you do not find it in healthy ways but, with my new friend, this wasn't the case.
I asked him to tell me about his life ... and out came years of painful and revealing stories. Stories that a part of me wondered whether they could really be true ... until he revealed those scars which in reality showed the wounds of much more than just a life-changing surgery.
He told me of how his father burned down their home ... how his mother was forced to raise their eight children ... how he served in Vietnam and was permanently disabled. He told me of years of isolation living in Chicago and New York, eventually moving to my town because some of his kin were there. "There's a point when you just need love," he said, choking on the words as they came out.
Love is what he is seeking ... and what so many people are seeking. Mid-way through our conversation, my new friend stopped and asked me whether I remembered his name. I thought that was odd but I now realize it was his way of trying to figure out whether I really cared ... whether he was really finding the love he was seeking ... or if I was just "putting up" with him.
Honestly, there have been lots of times when I have gotten in similar conversations and I really was just "putting up" with them ... I pray that I won't be that way in the future ... because I remember the scars ... scars that serve as reminders of the need for ... and the presence of ... love, intimacy, relationship.
I pray for the scars.