I was having breakfast with my mentor following a solo trip to Kenya. Ray asked something like, “On this trip, did you cross paths with a woman who, when your eyes met, there seemed to be some chemistry between you?” Well, that’s a pretty blunt question!
He pressed in. “Did you meet a woman anywhere – on the airlines, in a terminal, in Kenya, or anywhere – with whom there seemed to be a mutually felt connection?”
I could honestly say “No,” – that time, because while it had not occurred on that trip I understood the question. I thought I was probably the only man who was committed to God and to walking faithfully with his wife, who had experienced such a thing.
I’ve felt it a few times over the years. Your eyes meet those of another and there seems to be something there. It was not deliberate, it was just “there,” but feelings of interest and anticipation arose and depending on your heart – guilt, fear and shame. It can happen with a total stranger or someone we meet regularly as in church, work or similar settings.
I still don’t fully understand it. Probably there is mutual appeal of some kind. Possibly physical, and maybe an emotional need (even from deep within and unknown to us) that reaches out for expression in the other person. A weakness that reaches toward a strength that waits to express itself, and vice versa.
It is most likely to happen when we are vulnerable in some way. Traveling alone or experiencing distance in a committed relationship are setups.
It's decision time. Trouble is not far away. Things too easily move from a seemingly innocent meeting of the eyes to places we don’t want to go – in imagination if not in action. Either will impact relationships we are committed to. Thankfully I have had a relationship with Elaine and with God that has kept me over the years.
By the way, one point of advice that Ray gave me was that one should not discuss this with the person he/she has “sparked” with. Probably it too easily leads to intimate discussion and to an identification of the reason for the sparks – and anyone with any sense of how things work knows where it can go from there. It’s best to just turn from it and find strength to avoid further such eye encounters. This can be a challenge and a discipline when we continue to cross paths with the other person.
I’m grateful for the sages who have spoken into my life. They have helped me to better understand myself and to press on toward living life at a higher plane.