Beware Of Heart Devils!

While in Korea, I’ve had many random people approach me on the street. Women who touch my face and tell me “Oh, very beautiful,” men who are in awe of the foreigner standing in front of them and repeat the only English word they know over and over again, “Hello, hello, hello, hello,” as they laugh with the biggest smile on their face, and Korean men who approach me to practice their English. You never know what you are getting until you spend a couple minutes talking to them. 

This past Sunday, a Korean man approached me (a man I know, not a random person on the street) and said “Hello, I can have your number please, I like to be your better friend.” Not really knowing if he was genuinely interested in practicing his English or if he was the kind of  man who would follow me out of the bookstore in Seoul to tell me he wanted to take me to the movies so he could kiss me (True story), I wasn’t sure what to do. I talked to one of my Korean friends and asked her what it meant if a man asked for your number so he could “Be your better friend.” In her oh so cute, broken English, she explained there are two kinds of men. The kind who want to communicate with you and practice their English and the heart devils. She enthusiastically warned me to beware of heart devils. It may very well have been the cutest thing I’ve heard since I arrived.
There is great freedom in being single right now. There are definitely moments when I desire deeply to meet the man of my dreams. I would love to be serving in Korea or around the world with him by my side, but that’s not the stage of life I am in right now and I am okay with that. Reminders of my singleness such as Valentines Day don’t affect me like they used to because the Lord has reminded me that in my singleness, I am more free than I will ever be to serve him and bring people to his kingdom. But that’s not true for everyone. For many singles, Valentines Day is a day they dread. In fact, I know women who deactivated their FB profile on Valentine’s Day because they didn’t want to be reminded of their singleness. To those women, I’m really glad you don’t live in Korea. 

No one gave me the warning that I would have to participate in a day reminding me of my singleness 3 months in a row. In Korea, everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14th, then White Day on March 14th and Black Day on April 14th. As I’ve roamed the streets of Korea this March, I’ve seen countless stands full of chocolates, flowers and teddy bears. It’s like having Deja vu except it really is happening all over again! In many Asian cultures, Valentines Day is not celebrated as we do in America. Valentines Day is a day when the women and girls buy gifts for the men and boys. Then on March 14th (White Day) the men pay the women back. Tradition holds they are supposed to pay it back 3 fold. The women and girls eagerly wait to see if they will get a gift on White Day and if by April 14th, they are still single and have not found a partner, all the single people get together and sulk in their depression and sadness while eating a traditional Korean dish called jajangmyeon, a noodle dish with black bean sauce. 

I’m pretty sure I will be as single on April 14th as I am today and I will be participating in the eating of the jajangmyeon but not because I am sad and depressed about being single. Instead, I will be doing my best to show all the singles around me they don’t have to be sad because there is someone who loves them so much and is waiting with arms wide open to embrace them. And second, I will celebrate that I am free from all the heart devils!! 

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