I tried to dress in a way that would impress her. I bought a particular kind of sneakers, at no small expense (thank you very little Michael Jordan!), attempting to show how important fashion was to me. I wore a particularly nice pair of parachute pants from Chess King- not the "fake" kind you could get at K-mart. I even did my best to "mullet-ize" my extremely curly hair (I looked like a white Buckwheat with a poofy squirrel on my neck). Man, how many tubes of Clearasil and Oxy did I use trying to "clear up" for this particular girl?
I talked differently to her, in a way that was not myself. I was testy around my family hoping she would call me back after I'd leave a message at her house. I would snap at my sister or mother if they were on the phone during the magic time she might call (she rarely did, if ever). I actually blew off my friends a few times in hopes that I would get to talk with her or go out with her. I wanted her to like me in the worst way.
At school I would go way out of my way to try and cross paths with her. I would try to get close to her table in the lunch room. I would try to get close enough to crack a joke or otherwise show my quick wit in hopes she would like me. I'm embarrassed by how much energy I spent trying to get her attention- trying to attract her to me. I was just sure I could win her over if I became someone other than myself- I figured I had to. She wouldn't simply like me for who I truly was.
My poor mother. She tried to tell me I was making a fool of myself. It had to be hard for a mother to watch her son not be himself. She had to think, "what's so bad about my son that he thinks he has to be somebody else...how could she be worth him becoming someone he isn't"?I know my mother thought the world of the true me. It had to frustrate her to watch me act like a fool to attract a girl who just didn't like me. Such things are hard on parents, no doubt- when their kids abandon themselves for the sake of someone who doesn't like them.
As I look at the broader evangelical church and all it's efforts to court and attract the so-called "unchurched" and "seekers"- changing what it is designed to be in order to make them like her- constantly apologizing for this or that-doing all manner of foolish silly things to get their attention...I know just how my mother felt watching me.
When will we realize that the Church being the Church is what God uses to win the lost to Himself? By all means, let us reach out to the world- but let's not suppose we have to be someone we're not to see fruitful ministry. The only thing we get by being someone we're not is the wrong girl liking us. Think about it.