Starving for Intimacy

College Gameday.

With my love of college football naturally came this bucket list item. Only recently did I realize that my wife had long-time wanted to tailgate at Ole Miss and had never officially tailgated before. A couple of weeks ago, all of these wonderful things came together in Oxford, MS for an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up.

After a day of football, waking up way too early to be behind ESPN broadcasters on the show, and lots of food, we were headed back to the car – exhausted and carrying a heavy cooler about half full of water bottles. I poured out the ice to make it lighter as I had carried the full thing about a mile to the Grove from where we had parked. While we had stopped to pour out the ice, some foul-mouthed youngsters were walking by. I’m not a big fan of the rudeness that accompanies swearing in front of a lady, so I called the guys over. At this point, Melissa is saying that it’s alright, she’s not worried, and was probably scared to death of what I might say. But I took the opportunity to offer them water bottles. They graciously accepted and were fairly quiet while drinking their water for the remainder of the time they were with us. Pretty smart, huh?

It didn’t take long to realize that my cooler got lighter with the lack of those 3 bottles. So I offered an ice-cold bottle to everyone that we passed on the way back to the car. The last of my bottles left the cooler with some girls that were incredibly grateful for the drink. I got the impression that they had been looking for something to drink for quite some time with no luck. The eagerness to get the water reminded me of a concept that C.S. Lewis brings out in Mere Christianity. (Read my full list of recommended reading here.)

Lewis is discussing sexual sins and brings out the point that he doesn’t think we have a misinterpretation of what intimacy is supposed to be, but instead, we have a need for real intimacy. Think about a place that you could get lots of people to come into a building with flashing lights and stages. As the curtain goes up, a steak dinner sits on the stage, It looks good, it smells good, and no one can get up on stage with it. As the lights go out at the end of the show, everyone’s mouths are watering for more. Would you say those people don’t understand food? Quite the contrary, they are starving for it.

It seems like when you only consume what is bad and improper, your body tends to need and want what is best for it. After a day of eating junk, I can’t wait to get some good veggies in my omelet the next morning. I think that intimacy is the same way. Our culture gives us access to all sorts of junk. It is perverted, convoluted, and about as far away as you can get from God’s original purpose. That is a huge market, not because we don’t know what intimacy is supposed to look like, but because we’re working to fill a body that needs certain nutrients with things that simply won’t satisfy their cravings.

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