I left a years-long-overdue coffee date with my friend feeling angry. I wasn’t angry at her; I was angry at her ex-husband. The choices he made in regard to pornography had decimated their family, and my precious friend and her children bore the scars of too many years waging war against a virtual enemy. This was not how she thought things would end.
I remember when the two of them fell in love, and I thought they were just about the goofiest, sappiest, happiest couple on the planet–completely smitten by one another. They each did their homework on the other; they knew one another’s priorities, hopes and dreams. They were compatible. It should have worked.
Which leads me to why I was angry. He turned creep on her. He chose filth over her–and for no good reason that I could see. My friend (really, they were both my friends, but…I was angry…) is truly one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever personally known. She has a great figure and a vibrant personality. She believes in serving others wholeheartedly, and she was completely ready to stand by her husband’s side as he fulfilled his dreams. I mean, seriously, she’s a little too good to be true. Not without fault, by any means. Just pure in heart and in motive.
Anyway, I keep digressing. I was mad at her ex, and I felt contempt for him. I stewed on it all the way home and off and on that evening. The more I thought about him, the more I saw this horrible image in my head. I kept trying to shove the terrible image out, because it pulled at my heartstrings, but the vision became more persistent until it was steadily in my mind as I was trying to go to sleep. It was disturbing. Humbling. Just so very raw. I asked God to get rid of it so that I could sleep. He did. I woke up the next morning, and here it came again. I knew I had to write about it.
Writing about pornography is not what I set out to do. I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t especially feel qualified to weigh in on this discussion. However, people are suffering from this cultural blight, and no one seems to be talking about it. Men and women alike are turning to porn for some sort of physical and emotional release, and many of them end up imprisoned in its clutches. Parents are not telling their children to RUN when they come across these graphic images, and are instead allowing their children to have unsupervised access to their laptops and smart phones even in the middle of the night. They are playing with fire, and generations could suffer. The stakes are very, very high–as high or higher than they are in virtually every other addiction.
Because of what God showed me, I have been able to forgive my friend’s ex-husband and to see him with compassion. I still hate what he has chosen, and I pray that he finds freedom from this bondage. He is a gifted and gracious man who was given a passion for loving others. He is funny, warm-hearted and creative. He has been given a purpose, and I pray that he finds the freedom to pursue it.
Here is my vision…
It’s not like It came uninvited. He gave It permission to enter his home. His office. His heart. He closed the door and darkened the room, because what he was doing was best done alone and in the dark. Just him. And It. Alone.
The house was quiet, and he searched for It. He found It. It lit up his face with an unhealthy glow. Like a toxic radiation, It reflected Its poison in his eyes.
It reached to where he was most easily found, toying with his mind and exciting his passions. He felt the anticipation, the love. From It. He felt the promise, the pull, the pleasure…that soon stopped being pleasure.
It grabbed hold. In that tender place, that place of promise and procreation, It grabbed hold and held. It squeezed until he could no longer feel anything except the preoccupation that he was being held in a place that It did not own and that he did not wish It to stay. Even when he turned on the lights and opened the door, It still held him. In a vice-like grip, he was held.
No one must know. Except those that already knew—the ones who knew and wept with heartache and shame.
He hid It from everyone else. Out of humiliation and self-loathing, and yes, protection of It, he told no one of the hold It had. He just willingly and unwillingly fed it. Secretly. Except those who already knew—the ones who knew and wept and begged with tears and shouted in anger.
The hold grew to be like iron. He felt the promise, the pull, the pleasure that had mostly stopped being pleasure. And he closed the door and darkened the room, because what he was doing was best done alone and in the dark.
Even when his face was not lighted by It, It held fast. Even when he lay awake at night, alone but next to one who knew, he tried to push It away. He was always trying to push it away.
Except when his face was lit by the unhealthy glow and he invited It in.
He fell to his knees and asked that It be taken away, but his words were choked, and he realized that he was being held where he was most easily found as well as where he drew his Breath for living. He was being choked. Suffocated by Its two-pronged iron hold that hurt like hell and blurred his life’s vision.
Others were feeling the hold, too—the young and the old who were close to him and looked to him for strength–though they did not understand the pain. Except those that already knew—the ones who knew and wept and threatened to leave.
He was being smothered by the Thing he invited but hated. He continued to give It permission, and he loathed that It came. Then he hated those who knew and knew that they would soon hate him. He hated hating and being hated. And he closed the door and darkened the room, because what he was doing was best done alone and in the dark.
And he was alone. Hated and alone. Choking, hated and alone. Hating others, but mostly hating himself.
And he closed the door and darkened the room, because what he was doing was best done alone and in the dark.