Back in Detroit in my late twenties I was given the name "gal pal". I hung with a group of guys that I had loads of fun with during the week. We golfed. We partied. We had cookouts. We confused everybody in the club on the weekends. One young girl, five older guys - who's the mack? It proved to be a very valuable year of my life adding to my knowledge of men and helping me to better understand the interconnection between genders. We are indeed very different, yet called to live together. The Bible says "be fruitful and multiply". Well, the multiplying isn't hard but that being fruitful thing...takes some work.
I guess that's when I put on my cape and decided to become "Captain Save a Bro" - coined from the 1993 song by E-40 with a similar name. I have brothers and eventually had sons who would suffer the same opposition to their value. So, I started to look deep inside of a man to see his worth - the God in him. I purposed myself to find something great about every man that crossed my path. Sometimes, it was easy. Other times a brotha' made it hard for me to see but I eventually found it. Bruised, battered, scarred by hard- I left every man in better shape for the next woman. When I made my exit, (as super heroes do), he knew he was great. He knew he was smart enough to do whatever destiny had planted inside of him.
Looking back on my ex-boyfriends and mates I realize that I've done my share of saving: Searching the nation and Canada for crutches long enough to help a seven-footer then getting on a plane to hand deliver them out of the country, fixing resumes and doing mock interviews to target better jobs, researching programs and filling out applications to send him back to school, riding a bike along side a runner training for a marathon, cooking six healthy meals on Sunday to help him lose weight, fixing protein shakes and high calorie meals to help him gain weight, staying up late while he finished writing his song, doing his slides for the big presentation, helping him promote, and finding the right electronic cigarette to help him stop smoking. But my coup de grace was intervening with the surgeon before they cut off his leg so he could eventually walk away with another woman and give her the benefit of all I had done.
I wish I could say in all of these things that I received much in return from these men, but I cannot say that at all. Nobody saved my liver or lung, brought me soup when I was sick, or held me down while I didn't have a job. But that is the brokenness that I saw in a "bro". Sometimes when they finally get the respect they deserve and they realize just how great they are, the anger and resentment propels them forward. It becomes a life of "I'll show them damn it!" rather than "God use me for your glory".
Please don't confuse what I am saying. I got something very valuable from my efforts. When my guy pal recently called me "the man whisperer" and "captain save a bro", I thought back on all of it. In the spirit of full disclosure, I initially got a little sick to my stomach and thought to myself "ungrateful bastard!" (What? I'm not perfect.) But, I quickly, within minutes, came to understand that these men helped me to realize who I am. I AM LOVE. That is who God created me to be. I don't know how to connect with a man that doesn't "need" me. I need him to need me so that I can be who I am - helping him become who he is. We have all been created for something and it's not something as superficial as being a writer or a marketing executive. We are all created to produce fruit in others. How productive are you?