could be anything. might be nothing. might make you think. could make you wish I would stop.
breathe people...everything is easier when you breathe!


dwelling place...revisited

I wrote this three years ago.
It was hard.
Today I am here to tell you that my heart is changed. I re-read the words and I remember the struggle with hate and fear but I do not feel those emotions any more.
People are arguing...a lot...about who is to blame for lust. There seem to be no good answers out there. I do not have the corner on the answer market. All I can do is tell you what has worked in my heart.
My answer...
Look for Love in the very places you have been taught it cannot possibly be found. Look and look again. Remember that there is no place Love won't go.
Don't be afraid.
And when that's not possible, trust Love anyway.

This is going to take a while. It takes a lot of words. Even saying that is an understatement. 
There is no short essay form for this topic. I ask you, if you feel brave or curious enough to continue, consider carefully what my heart has laid before you and respond. I would like to hear you.

This is about p*R^0gR@p\-\y. Look at that word carefully. It will come to you.
 I typed it like that in a lame attempt to protect myself from google searches.
Although...with what I am about to say, maybe a few searchers would be welcome here. :-\
From now on I will just refer to it as prn.

When you read prn, know that I am mixing in every “sexually impure” thing that has been agonizing me. The posers, the lookers, the sellers, the industry, the girls at the pool, the advertisements, the movies, the perpetrators and the victims. All of it.

Prn, it has clenched my husband in a death roll.
Taken sniper shots at my sons.
Fileted my marriage, scorched my parenting, targeted my christianity
and barbequed my womanhood.
Yet it has not won.
I am still standing. Still loving. A survivor.
And today, I feel victorious.

But that is not always so.
I have felt myself lost
left torn apart
with nowhere to turn and no hope of release.

I have screamed to the heavens
searched both sacred and secular
to see the end
and all I found was
piety or sheer humanistic determination
but no eject lever
just an endless merry go round
a frustrating circle
no escape
a disease
and devastating.

How could I possibly have hope when, aside from a miracle, there loomed before me
a lifetime of despair and regret.
Despair for loved ones all around me who are constantly accosted.
Regret for me as participant. For what I have seen that still haunts me. For my curiosity.
Despair in feeling like this will never end. That their struggle cannot be understood. And is a curse.

Regret for me as victim- heart raped each time my warrior men engaged in battle for their lives and left the homefires unattended- open for pillage.
I still bear those scars.

I cannot speak for them. My men. I do not know their struggle tho my heart bleeds just as red
with their every wound.
I am not man. And knowing women also fall into this trap is really no help at all because that is not
my story.

My story deals with passionate men entrapped in hate and loathing both for those they've seen and who they've been for looking.
How is one expected to survive when the battle is bred into your DNA? How does one fight when all you've been about is destruction and it seems that the only way out is to destroy the perpetrator which is you? What do you do with the loved ones you have betrayed in your weakness? You see their hurt while you continue to destroy the very one they long to restore.

Do you see how tangled up this gets?
Not just the looker affected.
But the one who holds his heart.
Torn apart.

It isn't really about betrayal, tho in anger that label has tried to take hold.
No- the tearing comes more with the despair. Why. How.
When will we be done with this?
Because reality proves again and again that you cannot take things back.
You can't un-see.

So do you wallow in despair- and hopelessness- and anger
spewing lava streams of hellfire and brimstone upon society at large and upon the vixen vipers coiled all around you posed to strike.

It doesn't make the problem go away.

How do we live in this world and hate such a despicable thing that never, ever, goes away?
You cannot run from it.
Cannot protect yourself or those you love.
Although you try.
You try. But it gets in.
The vile stench of impurity. 
Half naked society. Bandaid clad. Lounging on the doorsteps or our hearts and minds and souls.
Maybe not prn exactly. Maybe not prn at all.
But just enough to get a thought jumpstarted that was best left dormant.
An opportunity to hate. To stand my ground and snarl. For myself and everyone I love.
All out war all the time. Hating. Disgusted. Despairing.

How do you live with the hate that brings death?
Does that even make sense?
I do want that prn to die. To go away forever. And it will someday when all is said and done.
But what til then?
Cry, and fight, and wail, and slip, and forgive, and try-try-try to forget.
The list goes on and around.
You know.

How do you live with death?

One day, my heart decided to stop fighting so hard.
Maybe you can't follow this- and that is fine.
Read carefully...
I did not accept this as in “it is ok”.
But I have come to make some choices. Hard choices.
And I truly believe for me it is an answer- if not a solution- from Heaven.

I realized that I could choose to hate.
Every woman that shows more skin than I agree with.
Every woman that wiggles
or poses
or invites with her eyes
or her lips
or her boobs.
Every woman that does not invite on purpose but through her ignorance or arrogance refuses to acknowledge the battle at hand.

Or I could choose to love her.
And if I chose to love her I could teach the same to those within my sphere.
Leading by example.

I could call out her demonic ways and encourage my men to protect themselves with armor made of piety- self righteousness- anger- fear- guilt- pity- hatred- despair- disgust-

Or I could witness the hurt-
the agony of disrespect both given and received.
The horror-
recognized or not, of living on display-
abused- broken hearted- abandoned- poverty stricken- dying-

If I choose to see the hurt then I have to remember the truth about God.
The truth-
He dwells with the broken hearted.

Can I get my heart around this?
If my Lord came to heal the wounded
if He shelters the abused
if he lives with the ones that are so broken that they are dying
Then my God dwells within...
(I am not trying to be dramatic here. I simply cannot write the end of that sentence.)

Can I model this to my hearts- my men-

When you eyes look at nakedness you are looking at God.
He is there- drawn close in love-
covering her, in her nakedness, with His love.

Does this change what you see?

Can you hear Him?
He does not scream at you or whisper to your guilt.
He does not shame you for your disgusting lack of self control.
If you hear that- know it is not your Lord.
He does not speak in such a way.

Your Lord loves you enough to want you to realize His heart for you.
A heart free- loved- respected- honored- encouraged- believed in- cherished-

His heart for you is the exact same for the one your eyes see...
free- loved- respected- honored- encouraged- believed in- cherished-

I believe that the Lord invites us to look away- but in respect- not disgust- and remember that we have just witnessed a dwelling place of the Most High.

What if, little by little, we could be trained to see God by finding Him – encountering Him-
as He dwells with the hurting.
Could we dwell with Him in places we have only yet been taught to avoid at all costs?
The destitute will change our perspective of right and wrong on the societal morality scale... can we trust Him with our souls enough to follow Him to a world completely opposite of our puritanical standard?
This breaks my mind.

Would such a radical leap change our perspective on prn and our reactions about it and our seeming slavery to it?
Can we love our way out?

Hear me hear me hear me...I am not suggesting that we all open up our arms and embrace the prn industry. I am not suggesting that we train ourselves to look in some pseudo-innoculation ritual hoping to strengthen our resolve.
no. no. no.

Don't look. Don't flirt with it in any way. Stay far away. You can make choices. You can remove yourself.

What I am saying is that there is a pervasive presence of sexual “impurity” all around us every day.
I believe that hatred feeds the beast. I believe that seeing, with our hearts eyes, the presence of God dwelling with the hurting might just give us the strength to respectfully look away without hating.

I am saying that keeping our robes all sparkley white by despising the humanity we encounter might be leading us down a road of pharisiacal right that leaves lots and lots of neighbors bleeding by the way.

I am asking myself to consider it. Then consider it again.
Or hate.

There is no neat wrap up here.
It never ends. This struggle for survival. This journey through the world.
This wrestling with our passions and our purity.

But maybe, in the curse, we can find a blessing.
As shocking and despicable as that sounds.
Could it be a blessing to find love where ever before you only found hate?
If daily you are accosted with opportunities to fill your heart with hate for others and yourself ...and, if daily you make a choice to love...will it slowly but surely change your heart?

I do not do endings well. And since my mind talks in pictures I will end by sharing mine with you.
What if, in this endless struggle you begin to realize that compassion rises over purity like the warm morning sun vaulting over mountains. It brings daylight to the darkened crags, illuminating what was once just blackness.
This change in light may not make your journey easy but at least it can help you find your way.