I saw him much, much later, when I wasn’t as vulnerable as I had been then. He seemed haggard, yet jolly too, and the world seemed to crease his eyes.
Back in college he was my boss, flirtatious to a fault. I prayed with his wife. He preyed on me. So young and naive then, I didn’t know I could say direct things like, “Knock that off.” Or “You’re making me feel uncomfortable.” I shared my ill-at-ease with my roommate who confirmed that I wasn’t dreaming up his advances. Truly he preyed.
Thankfully, by God’s grace, and my great distaste for how he treated me with innuendo and creepiness, nothing happened. I ran away in every possible way, eventually moving from his advances permanently. But it made me wonder about such a man. Why did he prey? Why didn’t he pray his desire away instead? He had children, a sweet, beautiful wife, a ministry.
I suppose that which one can’t have becomes that which one has to have. I wish that weren’t so, but there it is. In retrospect, I think the preying man had a gargantuan hole in his heart he couldn’t fill himself. His family couldn’t fill the gaping wound either. Only Jesus could. But instead of running hard after Jesus, he ran after me (and many others I’m sure.)
When I last saw him, he was part of a prayer team, and, oddly, his prayers, along with his wife’s, helped heal me of some deep wounds from childhood. Though I kept my distance from him, I find it ironic that this preying man now prayed, and God heard and answered those prayers on my behalf.
Which proves the wild grace of God in so many perplexing ways.