Other men’s wives

April 25, 2016 (Kampala):

I’m reading a book about Christians’ ambivalence toward their bodies and their embodied existence. One test-case for me is my high level of uncertainty about hugging other men’s wives in greeting. Take Jessica and Cindy, for example. I find them both fun and attractive, physically and otherwise. I like to talk to them and be around them. It stops there; there is nothing devious about my intentions. But when I want to greet them with a hug, all sorts of red flags go up in my mind: What will their husbands think? What will my wife think? What will they think? What will others think? Am I acting inappropriately? Will this hug – or desire to hug – be misinterpreted?

I know it’s good to have boundaries. But I feel these fears are imprisoning.

So it was interesting what happened at church yesterday. The Robertsons came and sat on our row, which they’ve never done before. Rick brushed past me and passed the empty seat beside me, leaving it for Cindy. I couldn’t believe it. Now she was sitting right beside me, rather closely I might add, and it was nice. It made me happy because I happen to really like Cindy. I wasn’t being unfaithful. I was enjoying the free gift of the moment.

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