I see this picture of myself.

I’m running with other men.  I’m running out, just a little bit ahead of this crowd…

I’m running light, but strong.  I’m drenched in sweat, but I’ve got so much fight in my arms..

I’m looking back at men behind me who are finding their feet heavy…and they’re looking forward, into their future, calling out, “I want to be lighter! I want more freedom! I know there’s more in me!”

They cry, “My feet aren’t meant to be heavy!”

“My back isn’t designed to be weak!”

Their eyes are trying to stay lit with fire…but it flickers.

I’m taking strides forward still, I’m speaking into and at them, “Come on! Shake off death! Come on! The chains have been cut! Be free!  Let the shadows slide off your chest!!!”

…and the chains! That chains I see them shaking off their worn and bloody ankles are:

  • pornography. fake love. (rape, homicide, abuse)
  • fear they won’t be loved enough. (rape, control, depression, reclusiveness, suicide, obsession)
  • fear they can’t amount to enough. (violence, shallowness, selfishness, self-pity)
  • fear of rejection and loneliness. (terrorism, murder, pornography addiction, drug addiction, shallow relationships)
  • violence.
  • anger.

I can hear old whispers trying to come back to life as they’re out running their old, dead selves.  The voices are nipping at their ears…whispering comfort, promising consolation in the dark.

“You can’t trust anyone, they’ll let you down, take advantage of you”

“If you aren’t violent they won’t hear you!”

“You’re alone…”

“You have to take this by force…otherwise how will you ever be happy?”

“Don’t speak up…”

“Don’t share…don’t ask for help!”

 

When I see this picture, I can feel this roaring coming up out of my chest.

I can’t remember pain or fear.

I forget my loneliness and my brokenness.  

In this dream I don’t feel weak, susceptible to lust and drugging through pornography.  

I have a soaking wet heart, just dowsed in love and belonging…identity and confidence that I, broken as I have been, have worth.

In this dream, I don’t find my worth in my money or my position in my career.

In this dream I’m a brother, a son, a future husband and a leader.  

I’m designed in the image of my father…and He is the light of a thousand suns…Literally, the Prince of Peace and the Great Warrior who rides on the clouds.  

He is an unabashed lion.

His eyes are fire and his voice like rushing water!  He is the image in which I was created.

When I come out of my dream, I realize I’ve been guilty of addiction to pornography.

My leadership skills have faltered in seasons of gluttony and too much dependence on myself rather than the process Jesus designed me to walk in.

My stride is selfish and my vision lowly…grasping for position and begging for attention.

My confidence is rooted in a broken culture and my hope dependent on other’s opinion.

But here it is.

Here is my answer to terrorism.

Here is my answer to racism and prejudice.

Here is the key to freedom for those captive by twisted sex and broken marriage.

My response to those confused or restrained in bondage physical or mental:

Meet my friend Jesus.  He brings light into dark rooms.  He brings air into dead lungs.  He takes the shackles of sex addiction, hatred, fear, depression and violence off our wrists and ankles, and he gives light and lightness…but also power and fire.

Let Him teach you how to walk again.  Let Him into your workplace.  Let Him into your relationships.  Let Him give you new eyes to see yourself, your government, your brother.

Let Him take the box off of your mind, the restricted religion and the rules of life that He never put there.

Let Him out of your four-walled churches…not even sure He’s in there.

Let the Man Jesus into your bedroom, sex life, dating life…into your workouts and your meal plans.  Untie His hands and allow Him to be the mystic Jewish radical rebel from Nazareth.  Let Him say offensive things to you and kick over your tables…and let Him speak in dark rooms.

Watch the man that rises up from within you.

I’m headed to Oregon to learn to teach men to be men.  Gotta do first, then teach.