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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: The Proposition
By Joy Bach


I looked around the foyer of the church. Was this man talking to me? There was no one else close enough to have heard the soft spoken words. He was looking directly at me and saying words I had only read about. Talking of a discreet meeting place where we could enjoy our bodies together. A myriad of thoughts flew through my head…he was suggesting such things in church! The two couldn’t seem to go together. He was a professor of religion and I knew his wife.

I had been a non-person, functioned in an arranged marriage and then my husband left me. In my journey of starting over, I had moved to a different state and had taken a job at our church college…which allowed me to talk with many professors. We would discuss a myriad of topics; from raising kids to spiritual matters. I was in the process of learning to choose my own opinion instead of what my mother, my church, and my husband had decided was right. So I enjoyed these discussions immensely. It gave me opportunity to explore new concepts.

Several times this particular professor and I had talked…nice friendly talks …interesting…thought provoking. He had spoken of the changes in me. I was developing a personality…improving my health and appearance by diet and exercise…and learning how to dress properly.

For the first time in my life I was beginning to feel good about myself as a woman. He assumed from the talk of my history (and rightly so) that anything sexual had certainly been merely a wifely duty to be performed and I had never known pleasure.

Now he was offering to “teach” me what I needed to know. An attractive professor…not some bum…was propositioning me.

I knew I could NOT do what he suggested. I don’t remember my response. But I do remember it was almost as though he had handed me a gift. I FELT like a woman for the first time in my life…a woman a man had looked at and desired.

Talk about search the scriptures…I did! I was facing feelings I should have learned to deal with as a teenager, yet I was in my 30’s and burning with passion for the first time in my life. I was single…with teenage daughters…daughters asking me questions about dating. I would have to say “I don’t know how to handle that. I’m facing it for the first time myself.” Confusing for them, I’m sure.

I consulted with a friend (a psychologist). Without naming names, I told him my plight. His grin began to stretch wider and wider. He had observed the process of my metamorphosis. Not a man to hand out compliments, he told me he had watched me blossom as a rose. He then asked me if I had at least allowed myself to be flattered. I had to admit I had…and then felt guilty.

The professor didn’t take “no” for an answer. He called me at work. I would run into him walking across the campus…students passing us. I thought “they would never believe the conversation that is taking place here”. I repeated my “no” answer on a regular basis. I never really had a battle saying no to him, but I sure desired to experience what he talked about.

My life went on. I kept growing and becoming. Part of that process involved changing jobs…working in a nearby town. One day I ran into him in the grocery store. I was relieved to tell him I would be working in another town and probably wouldn’t see him again. His response was “good…that would make it all the easier to be discreet”.

The Bible says “yield not to temptation”. The devil knows where we are…in our process of becoming. He doesn’t tempt us with something that we wouldn’t want anyway. He does the tempting. It was my responsibility to not “flirt” with trouble. I could have looked the professor up to talk…gone out of my way to sit near him in the coffee shop. I could have fantasized about what it would be like to say “yes”.

It would have been a tantalizing excursion into the forbidden. Who knows what the consequences would have been. It could have destroyed his family…and caused a break in my relationship with my own children. And what would have happened to the new found feelings I had of myself…that I was a person of value.

With God’s help…I didn’t go there.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 02/01/08
I would love to hear the rest of this story - it is obvious there is much depth to it that couldn't possibly be covered in 750 words. Very well done.