Lord God Almighty; this is a prayerful story.
By this I mean I will tell you the story that has lead to my prayer, even though you already know it. As a storyteller, I can’t help but make the most of my opportunities, so here we go.
There is a man I know… actually, there are men I know but had not acknowledge their existence till I met a man who held a knife to my throat.
Alright, I admit this is not entirely true because no man has ever held a knife to my throat (and I pray this never happens) but it almost feels like I have had this experience through my interaction with that man. One thing this interaction did however is give birth to something I call The Leonidas Discombobulating Effect. And I will tell you why.
Father, the people that know me, also know I have watched the movie 300 at least 10,000 times or maybe only 30 times… I forget. It is such a great movie! The many one liners always vibrate through me bringing life to living. And so far, it is the only movie that flaunts men with six packs but does not immediately make me think ‘vanity’. Six packs should always be put to good use…
Anyway, this man, when I was done interacting with him made me feel like something intangible, at least to me, was expected nay demanded of me. And it is this demand that produced The Leonidas Discombobulating Effect in me. Let’s call it LDE from now shall we, to make things easier.
LDE is the effect I believe was on King Leonidas when Xerxes told him to kneel before him because he (Xerxes) believed himself to be a god. Did you see the look on King Leonidas’ face in the movie? Oh man, he just could not believe it. I am sure the request was mind boggling to him. As far as King Leonidas’ eyes could see. Xerxes was a mere mortal same as he. And that he should dare to demand such must have sent King Leonidas reeling.
When LDE hits you, time truly stands still and in that silence you ponder on the entirety of your life up until that moment. You ask yourself so many questions like who am I? Then you move on to what am I? You doubt your own humanity because right in front of you, someone wants to take it . Not trying to rob you of it but demanding that you ‘with your own hands’ pass it over. And it won’t be satisfying if you give your life with fear while cowering. It is also not the same if you are eager, mindless and willing. Don’t believe me? All you need to do is play 300 and observe the disgust on Xerxes face when the sniveling hunch back Ephialtes handed himself over.
LDE hit me in small doses while interacting with that man and because of all the absurdity; it took a while to kick in. This man told me of the things he will not in his own words, condone, tolerate and put up with in anybody. For example, he will never put up with disrespect. Then somewhere along the road, I noticed he put up with huge amounts of disrespect from ‘fellow men’. the kind of disrespect which respect-loving-people should find offensive. I was even offended on his behalf till I heard him excusing the ‘men’. Please take a moment and try to picture my confusion.
I could go on forever about all his discrepancies and hypocrisies but this is not about him. It is about LDE: how to know you’ve got it and its potential cure.
Because after my encounter, like all things in life, I see him everywhere. Sometimes as a shadow and other times full fledged. I see him in other men who refuse to tolerate their partners shortcoming while expecting them to help work through theirs. He is the man that would rather be a bystander to wrong doing by other men that put himself out and confront them. I see him in men who place huge burdens on their wives to take in their illegitimate children and love them honestly while they cannot tolerate coming home ( with great reason on the wife’s part) to no dinner on the table. He is the man that emotional, verbally and physically abuses his wife and children while expecting to be respected and treated as supreme. I see him as the father that sabotages his son to remain the ‘Alfa’ male.
Probably some men reading will say Ulan! You feminist! You need humility more than you need Jesus!
And I will say, what brand of humility? The doormat variety? No thanks.
Look, all men are NOT the same. I know some truly lovely ‘human’ men that need no servitude, worship or adoration to live. As I know all these things to be true and exact.
- All human beings are equal.
- Father, you love diversity and are the absolute creator hence there is no exact duplicate of anyone on earth. It is no Joke to say we are all special and should be treated as such, right?
- There is no way, I repeat no way with how jealous you are, that it would be permissible to have other gods running loose, being feared, worshiped and taking glory for themselves.
- Man being the head of the home is the role of leadership not dictatorship. This is evident by the lives of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi, who gave and didn’t demand anything that wasn’t for the good of all. Especially those they were leading and protecting. Protecting not abusing because they knew the value of lives allowed to live right and in freedom.
In the end we the victims and near victims must also take responsibility. These kinds of people would not dare demand or enforce anything on us, if we didn’t let them think it was possible. We hesitate to put them in their place out of our fears and insecurities. They thrive because we let ourselves be bullied.
Anyone can stand up to a bully, a dictator and a tyrant but we must be willing to pay the price. And sometimes this means to disengage and alienate. This is not bad as the price King Leonidas and his men had to pay which was with their lives. The truth is sometimes if we allow these kinds of people, this might just be the price we pay.
The other price is the subtle and gradual state of being caged and locked out of freedom by someone with an entitlement mentality.
People reading this (well, it is an open letter after all); no human being should be feared, blindly obeyed or worshiped. No human being can ever earn this right and privilege. And if you have ever met any of these wingless life supremacists then join in this prayer. Let’s take a moment and say this…
You know what, let’s not pray for help from them but just pray for them. While our dear heavenly Father takes care of the rest.
As for me, in the famous words of King Leonidas, I will “Give them nothing but take from them everything!”. Everything to them is their ability to abuse, oppress, bully and intimidate. Then hopefully when they are stripped of their power and return to human form, they will have a chance at a fulfilled life and happiness.
Dear God, please deliver us from this evil.
Ulan ‘The battle is not mine, but victory is sure ‘ Matta