There is a beautiful young woman on the horizon of my world. (And I’m…well, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Hey, story of my life: The other guy always gets the girl while I get to go home to my imaginary wife and 2.6 imaginary kids.)
As you might suspect, this is a crush. Crushes suck, but there is an upside which makes it all worthwhile, in that you have this beautiful young woman out there on the horizon of your world and you’re trying oh so hard to be the very best you that you can possibly be because she’s oh so worth it and today–any day–could be the day she says “YES!!!!! I’M YOURS!!!!! TAKE ME AWAY!!!!!”
I have this recurring fantasy that one night I will be out on a date with her and she will want to take the long way home. This will involve going to a spot I know that affords the best view of the Atlanta skyline you probably never knew existed, watching the sun set and seeing the light of the setting sun illuminate the buildings off in the distance. Likely there will be some physical affection–hand-holding, arm-around-the-shoulder, perhaps even a kiss–involved. This is what we commonly know of as “making out”.
Andy Savage ruined all of that for me.
ICYMI (that’s “In Case You Missed It” for those of you who are not millennials or otherwise well-versed in the ways millennials express themselves via texting and/or social media): Andy Savage was the teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis. He resigned earlier this year over an instance of sexual misconduct from twenty years prior which recently came to light as part of the #metoo movement.
Savage had been youth pastor at a church in the Houston suburbs. He was in his early twenties, in his first real ministry job. Jules Woodson was a student in his youth group. One night she was at church late after a youth group function and needed a ride home. He took her the long way home, as it were, to a remote spot on the edge of town, and there he did the nefarious sexual deed. When he was done he suddenly fell to his knees before her and pleaded with her, in a panic, to forgive him and never speak of it again. Woodson recounts the incident in her own words here and here.
Woodson reported the incident to church leadership. They covered it up and did not report it to the authorities. Instead Savage was honorably discharged from his role as youth pastor and allowed to leave quietly after admitting only to a minor indiscretion. Savage returned to his hometown of Memphis, and there he went on to become a celebrity pastor/speaker/writer/blogger. The incident was never spoken of again until it resurfaced earlier this year as part of the #metoo movement.
This story hits me in a special place. Why? Because when there is a beautiful young woman on the horizon of your world and you’re trying oh so hard to be the very best you that you can possibly be because she’s oh so worth it…well, stories like this hit you in a special place.
Andy Savage has ruined “making out” for me. And maybe it’s just as well. Because I can’t fathom–don’t even want to fathom–the notion of going out with a beautiful young woman, taking her the long way home, and having it end the way it did for Savage and Woodson.