I truly saw this scripture personified today at an event I attended called "Huddle Up". It was the brain child and vision of a great friend of mine and brother Pastor Michael Pearl (I don't normally give names but I wanted to recognize him for what he has allowed God to do through him). This event was specifically focused on men and becoming a better name in all aspects. We have some great speakers and great small group discussions based on those topics. The event was AWESOME!!!
What I really wanted to emphasis about the event is that there were men there of all ages, 18 through 80 but no body treated any body with any disrespect and there was nothing but encouragement that was shown. The walls of division were torn down and it was just men being vulnerable and sharing. This was a "No Judgement Zone" and a "Safe Space" to share what you were really feeling. It was awesome because of the range in ages there were things shared that some of the older men had been through and things that the younger men hadn't been through... yet. Everybody learned from everybody because no ones experience is the same.
There were things said and done that were sooo powerful. I am not going to give them all away but I want to highlight a few. One of the things that we did during Praise and Worship was we hugged our brothers and we said to each other "We are stronger together". When you hear that from your brother that you know and ones you don't know and feel the truth behind that statement it does something to you. It wasn't just words, as we were saying it to each the embrace got stronger and you felt like the person you were hugging really meant that and that we were ready to unite and make a difference.
Another moment was during Pastor Pearl's session the talked about being a R.E.A.L. man. R.E.A.L. stood for Rejecting Passivity, Engages w/ God, Accepts Responsibility and Leads Courageously. These were awesome points but what brought it all home was when he simulated an event when kids were drowning and the people formed a human chain to same them. He had all these brothers linking arms for a common purpose and that was to same someone that was "drowning". In other words, "We are stronger together" we can save a lot more people if we Reject Passivity and worked together to save a struggling brother.
The next speaker based his message on "I won't let go you go until you bless me". This one was also great. He started off talking about our transitions in life from Boyhood when we are kids, to Malehood, when we discover we are males to Manhood, when we grow up and become men and do things that men do. We are not boys in men bodies or stuck on being a male and not a man. Without going through the entire scripture Genesis 32:22-29, there is a physical struggle between an Angel and Jacob and Jacob won because he wouldn't let the Angel go until he blessed him. There were (2) points that really hit me. When they were done the Angel changed Jacob's name because after that encounter, Jacob was changed. He wasn't the person he used to be... and neither are we. When we grow into manhood, we leave the things that we used to do in the past and we grow into someone different, our name (reputation) changes. The other statement that he made based on the struggle was how badly have you ever wanted something that you took heaven hostage. Jacob would not let the Angel go even after wrestling all night long until the Angel blessed him.
The third speaker talked about "Flexin on Depression". Depression is real and at some point we all wrestle with it. He gave his testimony about what he went through and how he has been growing from that. He was ministering broken. Encouraging people broken. He was broken and hid it from everyone until he finally mentally broke and it almost broke him physically. Once he admitted what he was feeling he was able to take the right steps to heal. A couple of power statements were, "What have you swept under the rug" that is causing you grief, "Be real to yourself" and "Take your mask off". We have got to be real to ourselves that something is wrong and do something about it. He also told us to pay attention to those around us. They may be struggling and he used the phrase that we say in our communities to try and get negative activities out, "If you see something, say something". You saying something to someone just may save their life.
This event was an awesome experience and I am so glad I was able to be a part of it.