Ever since Adam, men have sought to hide from being "man."
Although, since the onset of the 20th century and our so-called enlightenment, there is a wimpishness that has entrenched in our being as men, as though wimpishness must be a natural part of the very fabric of which we are made.
In that statement is found the unobscured naked truth. Look at it: "of which we are made."
Do you really think that God would have built into the very cellular structure of who we are as males to be cowardly, sniveling, shaky handy milk sops! ? Hell....NO!
Look at His titles: The Great I AM, Yahweh, God, The Father.
Do you see any ambiguity in there......anywhere? No, of course not. That is because there is none.
When Our Father comes into the room He does not apologize for any one of these titles.
No. Why? Because He is The Father of Truth, strength, mercy, grace...and in him there is NO guile.
Hmmmm, let me see....there was something I have heard about, in the distant past, that the Lord made....aaaaa, hmmm, that was kind of like him. Wait, no. Now I remember. It was in the very image of Him! Oh yeah,...man (God is being very gracious here to call us that...at least in our vernacular) or, maybe from the very beginning He set out what we are always suppose to be... a man. That is not just a local colloquialism to call us "man." God graced us with life, by creating us in His image, which also includes the capability of some of His attributes.
As a parent, I have found how we can speak (or read "breathe") into our children: strength, courage, generosity, love, and many other fundamental elements that go into the perfecting and making of a man...yes, I said a man. The Lord breathed these in the making and growing of "man." It is a title, not just some sub-title of another animal in the animal kingdom. He made man, in the image of Himself: The Non-Ambiguous, The Father of Truth, The Ruler of the Universe. When God says "man," he designed us to be and act like a man, but with many of the same characteristics of God the Father. And for the record, God knew how we would understand that word or title, "man" today.
All men, are males, but not all males... are men. And, no, there are no "versions" of being a man. Only Gods version.
How did men become like this today? By emulating Father Adam...
Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden, when approached by Eve to eat of the fruit, was for Adam to hide behind his wife. Man started out by hiding and not being truthful with God, Eve, or himself. Then instead of calling on God and confessing and taking responsibility for Eve and himself, he hid. He dodged his authority, and the pain of having to deal with the responsibility. It was, in Adam's mind at the time, easier to lie and dodge responsibility for others (you know...the whole thing about being our brother's keeper). Yes, I know Cain said that...but where do you think Cain got it! All of it...too inconvenient and painful...at least Adam thought it was.
Yes, but we all are not made to be warriors…right? We are just sinners waiting around for Christ to come...? Right...?
You know, that is interesting. We constantly look at history as being old and out dated. Unless things are new they have no validity at all. Except for Adam and men hiding, which this concept is renewed every time a male hides from what is hard or embarrassing, inconvenient, or dangerous. No, we all were not made to be Judas Maccabaeus, Gideon, Joshua, or King David as far as being excellent warriors. But we are all to be warriors of prayer, truth and all the things that are good...things of God. We are to do this in any career we have as men in life. St. Paul was a tent maker...a glorified seamstress! But would there be anyone that would say he was not a true warrior! Hell no! You are talking about a man that was stoned multiple times. And then would get up after the stoning, bleeding and in pain and walk right back into the same town that just stoned him! He was a warrior extraordinaire! Today, there are no professions that men cannot be a true man in.
So where do men hide?
We have made hiding a fine art form. Men hide firstly by being disengaged.
There are many forms of this. The beginning version starts when we are boys and are allowed to get away with the sniveling excuse of "I didn't know!" Sounds just like Adam, doesn't it? That is because it is exactly like Adam. No, no one is perfect but we all need to learn to be perfect. (Directive number 1472, section A "Be ye perfect" Matt.5:48.) Confess and become holy. We are to learn and not hide from the responsibility of learning. And when we get older, we cannot hide from the responsibility of teaching our children…teaching them early is our responsibility, painful or not. The "I didn't know" approach to hiding starts young and can last a life time.
Then there is the tough guy approach that states that they don't care what anybody thinks and "too bad for them." This is a very unrefined version of hiding but still...is hiding. We continue to be our brother's keeper and need to be the good Samaritan to them. Remember others can be broken and bleeding just like us and not show it.
There are various versions of hiding and an endless supply of excuses of why hiding must be done...but they are still hiding from responsibility.
Then there is one of the weakest positions a man can be in: hiding because of arrogance.
"People are stupid and don't deserve an answer."
"I'm not going to waste my time with them."
"That is just the way I am."
"I was born that way."
Or the pseudo-pious, "we can't judge, we are all sinners."
The list is endless, but all are just another version of Adam's hiding.
Man, as God made us, in HIS image, have the ability to follow God as hard as it may be. As painful as it may be, and as inconvenient as it may be.
As a neuro/trauma nurse, I tell you, like I might tell my patients; you, or "we as a man" have had a horrific wreck. Through our "hiding" we have multiple injuries and they will require multiple surgeries, and between them...there will be pain...lots of pain and discomfort. There is some relief from pain with small doses of pain medication, which takes the form of speaking truth, taking responsibility and helping others do the same. We will not be out of pain of sin...for a while. But we can help other men to be in less pain by not perpetuating lies, taking the pain, the pain of the cross and fighting the battle God has designed us as men to fight.
It's simple. Stop hiding. We are "man", built to be warriors for God, in the image of God. What we do, reflects on God.
We, as men, have always had the ability to follow the Lord, and not hide from him or make excuses. It. does not matter what we do for a living, whether we are priests, pastors, doctors, students, theologians. We must stop making excuses and hiding behind them. We must speak truth and take responsibility and continue to learn and seek the face of God, not the dark corners of life hoping that someone does not ask us the hard questions.
Men, stop hiding.
Arthur D. Beem, RN