The Puppet Master

My heart has been aching. It has been broken, convicted, pursued by righteousness. I’ve seen internal unrest before, but never so commanding. I’ve never come to the realization of its danger, its torment, its thirst for prey…its name.  And I’ve never seen it stare back at me like this. Oh, we’ve danced before and we’ve exchanged glances and whispers of each other’s existence.  But not like this. Isn’t that right, puppet master?

         And why haven’t I seen you like this before? In this light, with this grin, with this intention, you’ve never noticed me like this. Why am I so important to you, O Slayer? Why am I worthy of your scope and why can we not look away from each other? The glances we trade are not ones of attraction or beauty, nor of anger or hatred, but of watchfulness. Almost a respect, a leeriness of perpetual adversity permeates the air. And we nod, acknowledging our polar resistance, but all within our mutual respect of one another.

          Pornography. Your eyes have probably already widened upon reading that word by itself. Your mind has probably scrambled to make sure it’s ok for you to be reading this. Maybe you’ve adjusted yourself in your seat.  And I’m referring not only to pornography, but to the puppet master above its strings.

         I’ve spoken about this topic with many people before, but never has it had my attention more than it does now. The puppet master and I are no longer strangers in the same room full of crowded people, never making eye contact because of the chaos around us.  No, this time we’ve locked eyes, and despite the bodies passing around us, the deafening roar surrounding, and my attempts to look away from him like it was a coincidence, fall short. I’m not one of his puppets in the room, a pawn in his game. He knows I’m on to him. He knows I pose a threat to his kingdom. I’m here not on my behalf, but on the behalf of those he’s enslaving.

         A few years back I spoke with someone who came to me with several problems they wanted to talk through. There was so much anger in their voice and it encompassed everything they did. There were 4 big issues and 3 of them were all normal things that life will throw at us and even stress us out with. But the anger was more than stress. It was the 4th one that was to blame, that reared its ugly face. Pornography. Not just, here and there, but a fully fledged addiction.

         He was dying on the inside. His soul was being suffocated and poisoned over time. He had actually been away on a trip for a week where he could not access a computer, etc. and it was calling to him. He was so angry and he wanted to get away from it, but it wouldn’t let him. It knew he wasn’t feeding it and it came calling. His tears, his anger, his pain, were obvious that the other 3 items were not the issue, but that if we could get rid of the addiction, the rest of the “curse” would be broken.

         And that’s what he did. He went and prayed and fasted and turned it over to God and took steps to walk away. It didn’t happen in a day, but he purified his soul through prayer and petition for healing.  And the anger? It began to fade. The frustration? It began to lessen. The joy? It began to return over time. The other 3 issues? Almost completely worked through.

         And what about you, man of God? What about you, father of your children? What about you, husband to your bride? When will you stop living a lie and flush out the poison that’s rotting you from the inside out? When will you realize your problems in your marriage, with your family, in your work, in your attitude, and the anger because you can’t figure out why you can’t get it fixed no matter how hard you try, is rooted in your dirty little secret?

         Oh, you aren’t addicted? It’s not like the guy earlier? Ok, right, so you must be “THAT” guy. “That” guy is the man who won’t ever be real with himself or with people who truly care about accountability. You won’t ever admit you look at pornography or things you shouldn’t because you only look once a month, once every so often with no real pattern. If you aren’t addicted, then it’s just a hiccup and nobody needs to know it because you should know better and you have it under control. It’s embarrassing, right? If you admit you are tempted from time to time, even falter in that area, people will label you a perv or lose respect for you, right?

         You are THAT guy. The same guy who swore he would never cheat on his wife, but somehow found himself no longer looking at his wife the same way, but his wandering eyes found his secretary and justified his way into an affair. You are the same guy who could never find the same respect at home, the same way he gets it from his co-workers and he can’t see his family sees right through him. The same man who said he’s not sure if he’s grown spiritually in the past year and doesn’t know why but he’s growing further away from God.

         If we are role playing as Bible characters here, I’ll be Nathan and you be King David being confronted after his affair with Bathsheba. Eh hem…”YOU ARE THAT MAN!!!!!” It’s you! You think just a little sin means you aren’t at risk. I’m here to shout it to you in love, “You are at risk!!! You are that man!!”

         Look around. Look at the men backing away from people who love them with no idea why they are withdrawing from everyone. Look around and see the stories about things that were done in secret coming into the light and people saying “Everything seemed fine. I can’t believe this happened. I never would have guessed they would do that.” Never more have I seen examples of this as I have recently. If you look deeper into many of the “unthinkable” stories in our world, you will find pornography lying beneath the surface, never mentioned in the reports.

         And so our dance continues. We may sway one way or to another, but our eyes are locked in. We can’t look away because we pose a threat to each other, to those we have a vested interest in. The puppet master knows I am more dangerous now. He knows I am here to warn everyone else in this room. He knows what I’m capable of, but he knows the power behind me, and he can only look back and nod and smile his evil grin.

         I’m here to save your life. I’m here to tell you pornography will kill you, it’s rotting you, it’s destroying you. You are dying and you don’t even know it. Please, save yourself.

         That unsettled feeling is you dying and your marriage and your family following suit. It’s affecting everything in your life down to the smallest detail and you probably can’t even see it. I’m here to confront you in love. Seek help, seek accountability. Pursue godliness. Men of God, it’s time to stare right back into the puppet master’s face, acknowledge and respect his power, but nod and smile. For you have become a worthy adversary and an ally of righteousness. You are that man.