I Spy… a Bloke

The Greenman is doing a great series this week on what it means to be a ‘man’.

If that sort of thing turns your key then you’ll find some healthy discussion over there.

I was reading his post here and it took me back to a youth camp experience.

It was a weekend with teenagers talking about relationships – with each other, God, opposite sex – pretty normal church stuff.

At one point we separated guys and girls to discuss what it meant to relate to the same sex – to have some open frank discussion. I was leading the guys and Danelle the girls. As we spoke about these relationships that we blokes have with each other, especially with fathers, it started to get pretty close to the bone. Bottom lip tremors and averted gazes said this was a raw nerve.

As the one leading it I felt uncomfortable – it wasn’t an area I felt confident in – it wasn’t a topic I was very comfortable with – especially when I was the pastor who was supposed to havestuff together. As the discussion progressed it became obvious we were in territory than none of us knew how to deal with.

There was a long silence… then someone chirped up “I spy…” and that was the end of it. We played I spy for the next 20 minutes totally oblivious to the frviolity of it all.

Now, I knew (I’m pretty smart!) that playing ‘I spy’ wasn’t what this group needed at that precise moment, but I didn’t have a clue how to approach the situation.

When we finally came out of the room grunting, laughing and making blokey noises, the girls were huddled around one other girl who was in tears. They were praying for her and consoling her (abuse stuff) and giving us the vibe now wasn’t the time to mess around.

We got the message and went outside to kick the footy.

But what a contrast. It was a reminder that we had failed pretty badly in there today. Hurting blokes playing ‘I spy’ because they couldn’t express feelings. Thankfully I feel I have moved on from there and could probably do ok with that situation now – but even now I’m still not at ease with those kinds of conversations.

Its hard being a bloke.

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