Sweat trickled down my back as I sat in the mildly uncomfortable iron patio chair. The metal was more than warm to the touch, in spite of the fact that it had seen no hint of sun all day. The awning outside the Groove Coffee house covers the whole exterior sitting area. Summer in Idaho gets pretty hot sometimes, August is probably the most extreme of those times.

My young professional small group was about to start, or so it was time for it. I love this one because not only do I not have to entertain these guys like my high schoolers, but they all have cell phones, their driver’s licenses, and cars! So much less effort on my part, and still so much fun. The only problem is that typically, I’m the first one there, by a long shot. It works though, it gives me time to figure out what I’m going to say and go over any notes I got ready. I don’t generally need this time, but I take advantage of it anyway.

This particular small group was really good. None of them are ever bad, whenever two or three of us gather in His name, God shows up, and we enjoy it! Tonight though, a new guy showed up and really hit it off with the others and the discussion went really well! After about two hours of talking about Ezekiel 36, we were going to pray, then leave when one guy held out his hands. One to me, one to the guy on his other side, while the rest of us looked at him blankly!

First of all, I’m mostly kidding when I say this, but it’s my small group and I didn’t tell anyone to hold hands for prayer just then! He was trying to usurp my authority! Secondly, lets just be honest, holding hands with random strangers, even some friends, and especially other guys is awkward. I’ve already confessed that I’m not incredibly mature all the time, so I have no problem telling you that it mostly ruins that specific prayer time for me. I mean, not really, but it’s annoying. Here’s why…

1- Sweaty hands. Never fun, kind of gross.

2- Why are you trying to hold my hand like it’s a girl’s hand? Stop that now!

3- The squeeze of affirmation. Don’t do it. As soon as this prayer is done, our hands will fly apart as fast as possible, never to be reunited!

4-If you hold on to my hand any longer than the prayer, I might not talk to you ever again, that is, if I don’t hit you in the face!

5-Some people pray forever, and holding hands with another person doesn’t make the time pass any faster.

The only time a guy wants to hold hands while praying is when there’s a hot chick next to him, which might or might not be often, but we tend to sit with our friends at church or whenever we attend any kind of event, so I suppose it depends on the person. If she’s your girlfriend or wife, then big deal, it shouldn’t be anything new to begin with!

Oh well, small group went well up to that point.