We interrupt this scheduled series of posts for a public service announcement: I WANT A FLIPPIN MAN!
Is it just me or is it common to be “gayer” when you’re tired, hungry, or … hangry? I’ve realised that I notice more cute and hot guys when I’m exhausted or haven’t eaten! Especially the latter because I’m always hungry.
I feel like I can smell the scent of the pheromones exuding from those manly, luscious beards, even miles away. And my myopic contact lensed-eyes are suddenly more cognisant of those protruding shoulders, down to perceiving every slight angular curve of those arm muscles and the muscles on top of the muscles.
Ugh. I’m hungry and I’m tired and I just want one! I want one all for myself. I want a flippin man!
This fascinating phenomenon became more apparent at a recently held event called David’s Tent — basically a huge tent propped up in the middle of nowhere England, full of non-stop worship for 72 hours, Friday to Monday.
It was an amazing experience, and it’s one of those events that has made a life-changing impact on me.
But bro … hunny … hunny bro, did it also come with its challenges and temptations.
Obviously, one cannot survive alone in a tent for 72 hours, so people camped around the area, almost making a little popup village. I tagged along with a friend and a group from his church and camped with them. They took over an area of the campsite, propped up a little marquee with camping tables, chairs, burners, cookware, and more, and all their tents cutely encircled it.
There I met Logan: this tall, hench, viking of a man with a really posh English accent and round hipster glasses. He helped set up the area whilst being humorous and making his “lad” type jokes.
I was just like … Jesus, take the wheel. Thankfully, he had a different subgroup of friends, and most of the time he went away and did his own thing with them; otherwise, he would have been a total personal distraction.
The last morning of David’s Tent, I was physically tired: a weekend of sleeplessness into the cold, wee hours of the morning, after retiring to a not so comfortable sleeping bag and waking up early to the scorching heat of the sun.
Despite my tiredness, I was invigorated spiritually. The environment was just so different from my fast-paced London life. There was no phone signal, no entertainment, and no other comforts at home or from the city.
I was also with people I didn’t know much, so I didn’t have a choice but actually to converse with God one-on-one.
The end of the weekend, I sat on the grass with eyes closed at the very back corner of the tent, meditating on all the encounters I’d had with God the last couple days: revelations of who He is, His splendour, His greatness, His goodness, and His grace. All of which I still couldn’t comprehend; I don’t think I ever will.
Then I opened my eyes, and there he was, right in front of me — Logan, with his hands raised and head held high, passionately worshipping God with all his might (and muscles).
Looking down with furrowed brows, I just shook.
I imagined myself worshipping beside him, with my arm around his broad shoulders and his around my waist. I imagined myself praying with him whilst holding hands. Crying together whilst embracing each other. And of course … on to … more … intimate things …
But it didn’t even feel like sexual lust. I just wanted intimacy. I just wanted a man. A man who will come and carry my responsibilities with me. A man who will pursue and lead me for a change, and I just go follow.
I’m tired of being the responsible one. I’m tired of being the person who always understands.
I want a man who will be there for me in everything. A man who will be excited to meet me when I come home, a man whom I’ll be excited to embrace when he comes home.
I want a man who will make me feel pursued, valued, and loved.
Why can’t I just have a man?
Then God answered me. He told me to grab my phone and open my Bible app.
I’ve always heard these kinds of stories where people open their Bibles and land on a passage that suddenly speaks to them in a striking way. I’d tried it myself before, hoping for the same dramatic revelation, but it had never “worked.”
This time was different, though. And I’m absolutely convinced God told me to do it.
I opened my Bible app and tapped my way to a random book. Amusingly, it landed on Song of Songs. I was like, Okay, I don’t know where this is going, but if I’m reading Song of Songs I might as well read it in a more passionate way.
So, I changed my Bible version to The Passion Translation (TPT).
One main thing caught my attention. Some of the text turned red, implying Jesus speaking: a dialogue between a bride and a bridegroom. It colourfully depicted each one’s intense desire for the other. It illustrated Christ’s passionate love for His bride — the Church, for me.
I just bawled my eyes out whilst reading the book. Soaking up every word as if Jesus carefully penned this love letter just for me. I thought, Maybe that’s why it’s called Song of Songs? Because it’s a song, a song above every other song. A song about God’s love for His church.
Looking at it now, reading the book again, I’ve thought that moment was actually so cheesy. And, well, so…
But then, I never would’ve had that big of a revelation reading that book had I not been in that setting.
Reading Song of Songs helped me add another layer of understanding to this somewhat forbidden desire that I have for a man and the desire to be desired by a man — especially when I’m hangry.
It’s because I was meant to have this desire in the first place. I was meant for Jesus.
Jesus is helping carry my burdens.
Jesus understands me.
Jesus is leading me, even through the darkest valley.
Jesus is excited to meet me when I finally come home.
Beyond Jesus, how did I forget all the personal stories and real-life experiences of intimate friendships and brotherhood that we always share on this blog?
All because of a flippin hench man.
Logan soon left the gathering. Replacing him in his spot came a group of three men, also passionately worshipping Jesus. How they worshipped together really struck my lil gay heart.
They worshipped with arms wrapped around each other — exactly one of the things I craved! God really does have a funny way of communicating to me. As the event came to a close, the guys held each other tighter and affectionately prayed for each other whilst more people joined their circle.
It was a scene of two vivid biblical metaphors right in my face: Christ and his bride, and the church being one body.
That’s when I got reminded why I’ve chosen this particular path for myself, one that’s becoming less common these days: the path of daily self-denial.
I don’t want to gnash the mirror image of Christ, the husband, and His wife, the church.
I want to reflect the image of my Creator, my Purpose-Bringer, and the one I can elatedly call … my Lover.
Jesus is, and forever will be, my ultimate lover. My pursuer. My most intimate inamorato. The man I’ll always come back running to.
Anyways, I always love a good rant. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re passionately running after God, only for a deep-rooted distraction to show up? Do you ever feel hangry? Do you view Jesus as your lover?
Great post, Daniel! Thanks so much for your witness in dealing with temptation!
Appreciate your comment Edward. 😀
(1) I think I had an experience similar to this a while back. I was sitting in a choir loft getting ready for a broadcast, and I saw a few fellow gay brothers in some benches off yonder. I remember wanting to be close to them and snuggle them. I had this shaming voice come into my head, or rather a feeling of dread that said, “No! You shouldn’t want this! You should feel this way about girls!” But then a much more calming voice came and said, “Alex, you’re gay. Calm down. It’s ok.”
I realized I had shamed myself unnecessarily. The Spirit told me that I was ok and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to connect and be affectionate with these guys.
(2) I sometimes wonder if, as side B gay Christians, we see our desires and potential relationships as “forbidden” when they can actually be life-giving and beautiful within the bounds the Lord has set. I don’t know if you meant to depict your longings and desires as “bad,” but I think sometimes we do that. It’s possible to have a relationship with Christ while also having deep, intimate and yet chaste relationships with our brothers. I’d even go as far as to say a celibate companionship could be possible too. I get we should avoid lust, but there’s so much more to intimacy that we need to tap into.
Daniel, that is a beautiful post. How great that the Song of Songs helped you to see that Jesus is pursuing you and desiring intimacy. Whey we are feeling alone, unwanted, unnoticed, and unappreciated, we desperately need to experience that truth. You have me a little nervous though. I’ll be going to David’s Tent next month in San Diego to meet a YOBber who is leading worship. I didn’t think of the aspect of temptation. I will now go armed with a passionate translation of the Song.
DT in San Diego’s going to be amazing! And I saw it was going to be near the beach as well!
Another timely post!
Sometimes the need to just want a man can be so overwhelming! I often find myself wanting someone that I can just do it all with, jut to let it all out my system, and then other times just wanting companionship. Then I’m reminded that I can’t have what I want, in the way I want, leaving me very frustrated. But yet it’s during these ‘hangry’ times that God reveals what my true desires are, which all points back to my need for Him. Only He can fulfil my truest wants and desires, which can be hard to grasp at times but its the truth.
(Oh don’t get me started on eye candy at church or in other Christian spaces! lol!)
But thank you for your post Daniel! Great read.
You need a flippin man? Well I’m a strong independent gay dude who don’t need no man. Mmmmmhmmm! But yeah no I totally get what you are talking about. Especially when you were talking about seeing guys in the street. Its not always a sexual thing, sometimes I just feel a longing to be a friend of them. Or sometimes if its a group of guys I often just want to be apart of it and be like them if they’re straight. Wanting to feel like one of the guys. I really do feel that longing sometimes.
This longing…. I GET it. I have spent my entire life feeling like an outsider. Today, for the first time, I feel I am “part” of something, even though I did not know that “something” existed anywhere but in my own mind.
I get it…. I have spent my whole life wanting to feel “like one of the guys.”
As always, a wonderful use of gifs haha. I really appreciate this post. I’ve found the imagery of Christ as my groom to be incredibly helpful in my faith walk. Knowing that I have a Man passionately pursuing me helps keep me grounded when my own “Logan” comes along. I wrestle a bit with how far to take that though. I obviously don’t want to eroticize Christ, and He is the Groom of the corporate Church, of which I am only a single member. That said, love this post and it really resonates. It’s too easy to forget that when we begin following Christ, we take on many of the things we feel He restricts us from: Love, passion, intimacy, a husband. Christ is a perfect fulfillment of those desires, not a stone wall blocking our way.
Your post title pretty much sums up my masculine longing during my childhood. It also summarizes my longing today. But I think it is too late to get that special someone in my life to help mold me into a manly man. Nowadays, I look to have that special friend or friends whom I can be entirely affectionate and vulnerable with in private. Somebody that doesn’t judge me for my many flaws or shortcomings. Is there such a person? Would it be idolatry to put such hope in a single person? They and I would eventually come to failure and ruin. Yet what a friend we have in Jesus. His way is not the world’s way. Thank you for shifting the focus back so we don’t dismiss our Savior.
Brooooooohwwww. You never failed to add humor on your post. I always try to imagine how you say the words hunny, hangry, and that viking flippin man.
Kidding aside, I’m very glad how the Lord chased you throughout that event.
It’s true that when we are most hungry spiritually, that we are more aware of that realm and how the enemy distracts or attacks us. But His reckless love (and passionate love) from the Song of Solomon is truly remarkable. We usually hear His Gospel of unconditional love from the parables and ultimately the sacrifice at the Cross, but this particularly book depicts how deep is His love towards us.. makes me realize too that there is really no one like Him who pursues passionately with a strong yet gentle fasyun. Oh Lord, Jesus take the wheel every moment!
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Daniel, this post hits close to home on so many levels. I can only imagine what that worship experience must have been like. Sounds amazing, even with the distraction of Logan. I totally get having that distraction, it’s happened to me when I was at an amazing conference here in Nashville and thoughts kept popping up in my head that I had to keep pushing away in order to stay focused. And the whole wanting someone to hold you, be the strong one, I get that. For too long I’ve always had to be that, and I would love for someone to be that for me for a change. It is a good thing to know that Jesus does pursue us and wants us. And that will end up being enough.
I really enjoyed this blog post!
Thank you for putting into words the weight I sometimes feel when I’m hungry, tired, lonely, bored, disappointed, etc. in longing to be with a dude! I’m reminded that in my weakness he (Jesus) is strong. I think SSA guys (myself included) take for granted the level of intimacy we can have with Jesus. I think SSA can experience intimacy with Jesus in a unique way that OSA men just can’t. When I think about entering in the loving embrace of Jesus I think I have a deeper affection for this than my OSA brothers.
Flippin good and honest story, Daniel. I seem to recall several personal admirations of dudes-worshipping-Jesus-together-from-afar moments. Speaks to the core desire there which isn’t sex or even cuddling or anything physical. It’s just a basic desire for oneness. Masculine/human oneness and spiritual oneness all the same.
Looking forward to that day of worshipping together for all eternity.
Today I learned what “hench” means!
I love this post, the honesty, the blend of levity and gravity.
I get that way too! Last night, I met the man of my dreams, in my dreams. He was tall, free with his affection, and looked suspiciously like Michael Fassbender. He was going to help me find my estranged father in the French Riviera. (My father is not estranged and has never been to the French Riviera.) When I asked him his name, he looked into the distance and said, “…Skip.” (LOOOOL). It wasn’t a dream about sex, it was a dream about companionship, intimacy, and male acceptance. Those are the dreams that leave me immediately sad when I wake up, but I try to let them point me to Jesus’s companionship, intimacy, and acceptance of me.
I, too, learned of this “hench” while editing this post. Daniel, your multicultural contributions to our community are already felt!
Daniel, I enjoyed your post! Thanks for your vulnerability and the reminder that we are meant for Jesus ultimately.
Daniel, this was excellent….and something I needed to hear.
“Jesus is, and forever will be, my ultimate lover. My pursuer. My most intimate inamorato. The man I’ll always come back running to”.
Yes, I needed that picture of my Jesus as my lover. Thanks! My father-wound is deep, deep. He didn’t tell me he loved me until I was 33 years old, and how I longed for his affirmation all my life. My dad is one of the reasons I have SSA.
Your description of just wanting a flippin man is me-someone to hold me, cry with me, love me. Not sexual, just affirming. But, Jesus does all those things for me without the skin. Although I long for that skin-to-skin contact, I know it will never be. Bummer. But, reality. I take my skin to my wife, and that is very good. Thank you for reminding me what Jesus does for me as His friend and brother.
You’ve expressed exactly what I still struggle with! This deep need just to be held, touched, something to lean upon. My father never touched me, and my mother sexually abused be, hated me, beat me, (other adult/s) also sexually.
I hated myself, thought I could never be loved, then the Lord invaded my life, it’s been a long struggle through so many other religious abuses also. But HE alone IS Faithful when we are not, He alone has promised to see us through it all! Sometimes it’s difficult to just believe He will do what He has promised. And even when we doubt, HE is faithful!
Thank you for expressing your struggles in such vivid language, it matches my inner thoughts to a tee!
Lord bless you…..and keep you.