Nov 5, 2007

A Confession From the Heart

Well, plans are finally underway with the big post I have been talking about. I will be editing and rewriting it this coming week, hopefully making it more clear, concise, and Christ-honoring. That said, I am reposting a note I wrote a while back. I am doing this as a “springboard” or “frontrunner” for the larger and more in-depth post. Thus, it is extremely important to me that anyone who reads the next post (which should be next Monday), read it in the context of this post. In other words, I want anyone who reads the next post to understand that I see my own part in the whole and am not writing as if removed from the situation or from a judgmental standpoint. With that I will leave you to read the frontrunner.

Blessed in Christ,

Aaron Hawk
Col. 2:6,7


Originally posted 5:25am Monday, Apr 9 2007 on Facebook

I just want to share from the heart for a moment. That said, I am going to be quite blunt, and would ask that you show me grace as I confess my sins. Since I have been at Southern, I have entered into countless conversations about the male / female interaction here. In these conversations, I have heard both sides express extreme frustration for many reasons (and tried desperately to hear both sides as honestly as possible). I will not here address these conversations per se, but only mention them to provide background to my own sin and hopefully demonstrate that I have really done my best to take these issues to heart. Finally, though I have heard a number of seminary guys express similar feelings, in this note, I can only speak for myself.

Now on to my confession: I have erred in my perception toward “seminary girls.” I do not believe that I have sinned against any particular girl, but have stacked my frustration against the mass “they.” One of my biggest complaints has been that, in relation to single guys, seminary girls act quite cold (as a generalization, I never meant the sum total). Ok, calm down and let me explain (and apologize). By this, I mean that it has seemed girls around here act like talking to a guy is the equivalent to a marriage proposal. Therefore, they remain aloof and refuse to enter into a conversation. Now first, let me say that if there is truth to this point, I can’t really blame them considering the “vulturesque” way it seems many Seminary guys act. It really pains me to see the way that some girls are treated.

One of my greatest contentions (and supporting evidences) is that when I’m walking around campus or through a building, most girls will not even smile and say “hi.” “They” avoid eye contact and act as if they are totally unaware that someone else is around, even though their stiff body language and deliberate downward stare say the exact opposite. Since I have been here, I have taken great offense at this. It has seemed to me that the girls are treating me as sub-human, by not at least acknowledging that “yes, you are a fellow human, and I will acknowledge that by giving you a common greeting.” Despite the fact that I am very shy in a group of new people, I am an extremely social person. Thus, this type of situation really bothers me.

Here I must chase a small rabbit and also confess that, though it is rare, I sometimes do the same thing for various reasons: Sometimes, I am so ashamed of myself and aware of my own sin, that I don’t want to interact with anyone. Sometimes I am just in a hurry and don’t want to have a conversation… you get the point.

Back to my main point… the other day, I realized that I have, unknowingly, had a double standard in my perception. I was on a break from class and walked past a number of people on the way. Some of them were male and some were female. On the way back to my room, I noticed the females ignoring me for the most part, as always. I ate lunch and then headed back to class. Once again, on the way back to class, I passed a number of people, but this time, I noticed that about the same ratio of male and female students either greeted or ignored me. I was immediately hit with my double standard and my own insecurities. The simple fact is, I didn’t notice the guys ignoring me because I don’t care in the same way. Though I don’t like being ignored by anyone, I was only sensitive to the times one of the seminary girls would ignore me.

It grieves me to think how I have sinned in my heart and my mind toward such Godly and wonderful ladies as we have on this campus. Further, I am grieved that my own thoughts may have contributed in some way to the already tense and awkward situation that exists here. I think we can all agree that, whatever the exact situation is, it is an unnatural one and, therefore, a confusing one. So, why did I write this note? Let me assure you it was NOT to complain or to stir up trouble. In fact, I question the wisdom of posting this note, as I do not want to offend anyone for the world. What then was my purpose? Well, it was partly to apologize, but generally this type of sin does not need a public apology. More than that, my simple hope is that we would all be more aware of how we treat each other and examine our own hearts… for ourselves and especially for those around us. To the guys, I hope that we, as Christ’s children, would love and respect our sisters in the proper way. To the girls, I hope that you would realize that we “gruff” men are much more sensitive than you may realize and something as simple as “hi” can brighten our day.

I thank my God that He has shown me the error in this perception and pray that He would help me to always see other people and situations through His eyes and not my own. May He continue to refine and sanctify me! To all of the wonderful women that God has placed here, I am sorry! May the Lord bless and strengthen you!!!

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