Story

I was not very familiar to”rebellion”, if you ask anyone on my street growing up they would have said I was a good kid. I got caught once in 7th grade for smoking weed and my mom sent me to a wanna-be counselor at my church to help us quit. The truth was, I had no intention of smoking weed the rest of my life, I really didn’t even want to continue doing it after getting caught. However, there was another issue under the surface. A real one, one that I truly needed help on. Someone to confide in about this disease which would continue to wreak  havoc on my life.

We all have something in us which tells us there is something wrong. That what we are doing is not right. If it wasn’t wrong then we wouldn’t hide it from everyone around us. It’s shameful, deceitful, and we feel the guilt even before understanding the reasons for feeling this way. No one told me this was wrong, I just knew.

So I did what I thought would help me feel better, I told the “counselor” at church about my issues with lust, pornography, and a compulsion to gratify my flesh. As you can imagine, he was not prepared to hear one of these “rebellious” kids open up on the first day of speaking with him especially about a topic so awkward, and vulnerable. I think that was my first attempt at finding freedom. I didn’t quite understand why I wanted to tell him about this issue, I just thought maybe he could help me get rid of this feeling of guilt and shame.

Now, the only thing I can remember him telling me was “once you get married it becomes much easier”. I think those words stuck with me for most of my life. Not because I was hopeful for getting out of this addiction (once I got married), but because I could tell he was giving me an answer so I would stop talking to him about such an embarrassing and awkward topic.

From my experience, this turned out to be the pattern for almost every time I reached out and confided in someone to see if they could help me get rid of this disease. Trying to get rid of my addiction to pornography while truly searching for God became my internal goal for the better part of my young life.

I became a Christian around my Freshmen year of High School, and I was flying on cloud nine. Funny how challenges seem so much easier to defeat when you are first awakened to your new life as a Christian. I found a  youth pastor who truly did want to disciple me and help me to put my addiction on hold so I could grow in my walk with Christ. The problem came later on when I started to realize that I never really dealt with the issue of pornography I only set it aside for a moment because I was so caught up with my discovery of Christianity and my new found joy in Christ.

If your story compares, share with me on the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter to Porn Watching Dad

Letter to Porn Watching Dad (Re-Post Link below)

Dear Dad,

I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this effects only you, or even your and mom’s relationships. But it has had a profound impact on me and all of my siblings as well.

I found your porn on the computer somewhere around the age of 12 or so, just when I was starting to become a young woman. First of all, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. Your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing.

Because of pornography, I was aware that mom was not the only woman you were looking at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for the way they perceived women in this way.

As far as modesty goes, you tried to talk with me about how my dress affects those around me and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions however told me that I would only ever truly be beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Your talks with me meant nothing and in fact, just made me angry.

As I grew older, I only had this message reinforced by the culture we live in. That beauty is something that can only be achieved if you look like “them”. I also learned to trust you less and less as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for me and not just a pretty face.

When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as a pretty face in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life.

I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was his struggle with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hasn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had struggles because of the deep-rooted distrust in my heart for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize. It still affects me to this day as I realize the hold that it has on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and its far-reaching greedy hands. When I tell him about how pornography, like most sins, affects far more than just us.

Like, I said, I have forgiven you. I am so thankful for the work that God has done in my life in this area. It is an area that I still struggle with from time to time, but I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s. I do pray that you are past this and that the many men who struggle with this will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter

*This has been posted anonymously due to the nature of the topic.*

http://www.faithit.com/an-open-letter-to-the-dad-looking-at-porn/#.VI7oQ7FOyvg.facebook

The Problem of Pleasure by Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias speaks on the problem of pleasure.

The Problem of Pleasure Part 1 of 4 – http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/the-problem-of-pleasure-part-1-of-4-2/

The Problem of Pleasure Part 2 of 4 – http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/the-problem-of-pleasure-part-2-of-4-2/

The Problem of Pleasure Part 3 of 4 – http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/the-problem-of-pleasure-part-3-of-4-2/

The Problem of Pleasure Part 4 of 4 – http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking-broadcasts/the-problem-of-pleasure-part-4-of-4-2/

What is Your Alabaster Jar?

 Luke 7 36-50

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet Jesus-Feet-300x240weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty.42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head,but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”


A sinner in the Greek, hamartolos, is a word that brands a person SINNER. Usually, those branded SINNER were women who followed after sexual sin in order to earn a living. In other words a prostitute.

Why is this so important to note? She was making a living off of prostitution, yet the alabaster jar of perfume she poured out was very very expensive in that time period. Worth 300 Denarius which is almost a full years wages or about $9,600 in their day.

Now one can only imagine what a prostitute back in that time period would have used this costly perfume for. It was most likely a large part of her everyday necessities as a prostitute.

Her livelihood, years of living in sin, the shame of being in the presence of religious leaders, and any dignity she had left was essentially poured out on Jesus by emptying the entire jar on his feet.

Now it may sounds cliche, but what is your Alabaster jar? What is it that you hold so dear to your heart that you cannot let go for fear of the consequences?

For me pornography and sexual sin was exactly that. It was my treasure, something I held dear.  I didn’t want people to know about my sin because I enjoyed the comfort it gave me. I wanted to be freed, but I didn’t want to be embarrassed by the shame of someone knowing about it.  I was not ready to bare all and empty my alabaster jar at the feet of Jesus. Hiding it became my life. And for some, dragging your sin into the light is a constant battle of our flesh and spirit.

Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

Share in the comments below.

Sex before marriage is OK?

Re-post of website godandscience.org (link below)

Common “wisdom” says that living together in a “trial marriage” is a good way to determine if couples are compatible before marriage. A companion paper, based upon scientific studies, shows that this idea is false. Many Christians seem to have bought into the secular idea that as long as one is “in love” it doesn’t matter if couples live together (and engage in premarital sex). The problem is that many times “love” fails, and Christians end up moving from one relationship to another. This paper examines what the Bible says about living together before marriage, for those who claim to be Christians.

Biblical love ispremartialn’t a feeling
Most people think that love is that elated, “high” feeling we get when we “fall in love.” This kind of “love” is something that lasts typically less than a year. Most couples decide to live together during this period of time when their decisions are often based upon emotions and passions. According to the Bible love “rejoices with the truth… always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… never fails”1 One will notice from this description that love isn’t what you get from someone, it is something you give to someone. The Bible confidently says that love never fails, because as long as these things are done, love cannot fail. However, if we are interested in getting rather than giving, then selfishness always succeeds in shipwrecking a relationship.

Sexual relationships and the Bible
The doctrine of keeping sexual relationships within the bounds of marriage is so important that it is spelled out in the second chapter of the first book of the Bible (Genesis 2). The marriage covenant is spelled out in the original narrative that describes the meeting of the first man and first woman:

For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:24-25)

The Bible actually encourages married couples to enjoy their sexual relationships within marriage.2 The New Testament confirms that sexual relations within a marriage is not sinful. Paul says that those who marry have not sinned.3 The writer of the book of Hebrews states, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure,”4 indicating that sexual relations within marriage are “pure” and not sinful.

Old Testament laws about sex
The Bible has a lot of bad things to say about being a harlot.5 In fact, it was so frowned upon in Jewish society that, among all the laws in the Old Testament, spiritual unfaithfulness (idolatry) is compared to harlotry.6 These days, people tend tPremartial 2o think of harlots as those who engage in multiple sexual relationships. However, the Old Testament indicates that engaging in even one sexual relationship before marriage (i.e., not being a virgin) makes one a harlot.7 Engaging in consensual sexual relations with a married person was a capital offense, and those who were found guilty (both the male and female) were executed.8 Consensual sexual relations between an unmarried man and unmarried woman resulted in the man being fined and required to marry the woman without the possibility of any future divorce.9 Essentially, there was no premarital sex, since once you were caught you were married.

New Testament laws about sex
The New Testament confirms the laws of the Old Testament. Specifically, adultery is condemned,10 even including mental adultery,11 incest,12 and homosexuality.13 Other sexual sins, including premarital sex, are condemned through a couple Greek words (the original language of the New Testament) that can refer to a number of sexual sins, depending upon context. These words are porneia14 and pornos,15 from which the English word “pornography” is derived. English Bibles will translate these words different ways, so it is important to know some of the ways in which the words are translated. For example, the New American Standard translates the words as “fornication”16 (e.g., premarital sexual relations) and sometimes as “immoral persons,”17 which seems to be some kind of generic immorality, although it specifically refers to sexual immorality. Other English words used to describe premarital sex include “unchastity.”18 The fact that these words refer to premarital sexual relations can be seen in the Pharisees answer to Jesus, where they insinuated that He was born of fornication.16 The severity of this kind of sin can be seen in the descriptions of what will happen to people who practice sexual immorality at the judgment.17

The New Testament directly states that sexual activity is to be restricted to marriage in the book of Hebrews, where it condemns both adultery (engaging in sexual relations with a non-spouse while married) and fornication (engaging in sexual relations before marriage):

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

Premarital sexual relationships are strongly condemned in both the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible. Therefore, Christians who engage in premarital sex are breaking God’s laws and are not following Jesus Christ. Under such practices, God is not honored, and both yours and your partner’s walk with Christ is hampered. In addition, one’s witness for Jesus is nullified, since even non-believers know that living together before marriage is not what a Christian should do. If you are involved in this kind of relationship, you need to repent and start living according to biblical standards. It is not okay for a Christian to keep living a sinful lifestyle, including sexual intimacy before marriage.

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/fornication.html

Tell me what you think in the comments below

Masturbation or Gratifying the Flesh?

This article tries to get down to the core issue; if masturbation is a sin. Here are two testimony’s of people who have struggled with addiction to self gratification. I have not made up my mind on the topic, but I want to share this to see what others opinions are on the matter.

If you don’t have time to read the article read the below testimonies and tell me what you think in the comments.

http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/resources/article/masturbation-doorway-slavery/

One is from a gentleman in his last week of The Way of Purity course, and he is now set free from slavery to masturbation. He writes this testimony:

“My problems began when our youth pastor told me that the Bible does not mention masturbation, therefore God must not condemn it. He told us that as long as we were masturbating with thoughts of our future spouse then we were not sinning. My masturbation began slowly—only using it once a week or so. I felt guilty, like I was giving in to sin rather than denying the flesh, but my pastor said it was a helpful tool, and that it even prevented sex crimes when used correctly. Gullible as I was, I believed him. I soon began discovering that offering the parts of my body to self-gratification did not permanently decrease desire or relieve pressure–quite the opposite–the more I masturbated, the more I engaged in it.

I honestly do not know what happened–one day I had just finished masturbating along side a farm road, for the 3rd time that day, when it dawned on me that I was a slave to masturbation. What started innocently, and with the full approval of a religious authority, trapped me into a vice that completely choked out all spiritual life in me.

Oh how I wish that pastor had preached the Word correctly, even if it would have made him less popular. I wish he had explained to me that unless I denied myself (not indulged myself) and took up my cross daily I would not be worthy to be His disciple. I wish he had told me about the principle of slavery–that we are slaves to whatever we offer ourselves to. I wish he had told me, plain and simple, that it is so much easier to totally and completely refuse masturbation–that it is not even an option for a Christian–than to attempt to ‘control it’ and ‘only use it under certain circumstances.’ If only he had not used that worn-out phrase ‘the Bible doesn’t mention it;’ and instead taught the principles of Scripture.

I am not blaming my former pastor; my own deceptive heart loved hearing what he preached, and I am responsible for my own actions. I just wish I would have had a man of God who could have helped me learn to deny and crucify, rather than rationalize and justify.”

Another enrollment in The Way of Purity Course came in as we were completing this article. This 17-year-old young man writes:

“Every time I get the urge, I can’t resist masturbation. I have tried to fight it for many years, and, although I have had a few temporary victories, I never completely defeated it. I desire to live all of my life for Christ, and this can’t be done until I defeat this fiend. I also want to remain pure for my future wife, and if I continue down this path, I know that wish will not become true.”

What do you think about this?

For Those Who Can Acknowledge They Have a Problem with Sexual Sin

There is hope of being freed from sexual sin. I know that God has set me free with a lot of hard work, time, and sacrifice.

Search your heart and see if you truly do want to quit living under the slavery of sexual addiction. Think of this, if being truly freed meant getting rid of (Facebook, Youtube, Google image search, freedom on your PC and smartphone, or even embarrassment), is it still worth it to you?….

Sacrifice for the sake of fully giving all of you to Christ always reminds me of an awesome story written by C. S. Lewis in one of his books named “The Great Divorce”. You can read it here. It’s about a “ghost” who makes up every single excuse to not be freed from sexual sin, “the red lizard”.

If we can be honest with ourselves, our flesh does not want to be freed from the grip of sexual sin. It is a comfortable place for those who are addicted. In fact, if it wasn’t comfortable then you wouldn’t return to it. There is something inside of you that wants to hold on for dear life to this comfort.

For those who do not believe this will be complete foolishness, but there is a spiritual battle which binds us to this addiction. If you do not give this over to Christ it will always feel like freedom is out of reach. The idea that sexual sin is a comfort and that our minds think its a necessity, is completely subconscious. I have found that journaling, although tedious in my experience, is very helpful to bring thoughts to the surface which have been buried and locked in our subconscious for quite some time.

There is also a physical battle against sexual sin, if we have access to this garbage we will not have strength to use self control. This is the part which takes true sacrifice. It.. Is.. not… fun.

Blocking access to something that makes us feel comfortable will not help in itself. What it will do, is put up a first defense to your own thought life.  Try to stop and ask yourself, ” Wait a second, what am I doing on this website in the first place”.

Do not be discouraged when you start to look for ways around the filters/blocks. I have found that our brains are able to trick us into justifying almost anything! Just “patch” any loopholes you find by tweaking the filters/blocks on your PC/smartphone.

Find an accountability partner that is just as passionate about helping you succeed as you are about helping them. This is another crucial element to fighting the physical battle with your “brothers/sisters in arms”. Like Aaron who held Moses’ arms up when he was too tired to continue.

For those who have tried and tried again,

1. Gain a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the first and foremost step. If this is not completed, you will ultimately have no fruit.

2. Get rid of all access to sexual sin. (Burn, delete, destroy, etc.)

3. Put blocks/filters on your PC and/or smartphone where someone else has the password. (*I recommend K-9 web filter, and netnanny)

4. Get involved in accountability of some sort. (Friend, family, Leader at church, spouse, or online accountability.)

5. Try settingcaptivesfree.com – Free 60 day course to freedom and daily accountability partner. ( for sexual sin, smoking, drinking, eating, etc.)

6. If all else fails seek paid/free in person counseling. Often times there is something deeper that has hurt you and you are running to sexual sin to be your safe heaven (comfort). A Christian Counselor can help unveil what may be holding you back from living a life free from sexual sin.

Please, check out the free resources on the “resource tab” or click here.

Setting Captive’s Free 60 Day Course

**UPDATE** This post is no longer valid. Setting captives free course is no longer available, I am not sure if it will ever be returning. I have left this post up in case the comments below are needed.

 

For all who are interested…. I will be restarting a free 60 day course called “The Way of Purity”. I would encourage any and all who struggle with pornography and self gratification (masturbation) to join me in getting a free mentor who will help you with your struggle and be true accountability, along with anyone else you like to send your answers to. The lessons only take about 45 mins to an hour per day, and they are filled with truth and life. Please let me know if you join, and we can help each other with accountability.

http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/courses/way-of-purity/

Here is a very short excerpt from the “The Way of Purity” course.

Continue reading

The Prince and the Dragon

Dragon Fireball Attack There was once a great and noble King whose land was terrorized by a crafty dragon. Like a massive bird of prey, the scaly beast delighted in ravaging villages with his fiery breath. Hapless victims ran from their burning homes, only to be snatched into the dragon’s jaws or talons. Those devoured instantly were deemed more fortunate than those carried back to the dragon’s lair to be devoured at his leisure. The King led his sons and knights in many valiant battles against the dragon.

Riding alone in the forest, one of the King’s sons heard his name purred low and soft. In the shadows of the ferns and trees, curled among the boulders, lay the dragon. The creature’s heavy-lidded eyes fastened on the prince, and the reptilian mouth stretched into a friendly smile.

“Don’t be alarmed,” said the dragon, as gray wisps of smoke rose lazily from his nostrils.

“I am not what your father thinks.”

“What are you, then?” asked the prince, warily drawing his sword as he pulled in the reins to keep his fearful horse from bolting.”I am pleasure,” said the dragon. “Ride on my back and you will experience more than you ever imagined. Come now. I have no harmful intentions. I seek a friend, someone to share flights with me. Have you never dreamed of flying? Never longed to soar in the clouds?”

fire_dragon_2

Visions of soaring high above the forested hills drew the prince hesitantly from his horse. The dragon unfurled one great webbed wing to serve as a ramp to his ridged back. Between the spiny projections, the prince found a secure seat. Then the creature snapped his powerful wings twice and launched them into the sky. The prince’s apprehension melted into awe and exhilaration.

From then on, he met the dragon often, but secretly, for how could he tell his father, brothers or the knights that he had befriended the enemy? The prince felt separate from them all. Their concerns were no longer his concerns. Even when he wasn’t with the dragon, he spent less time with those he loved and more time alone.

The skin on the prince’s legs became calloused from gripping the ridged back of the dragon, and his hands grew rough and hardened. He began wearing gloves to hide the malady. After many nights of riding, he discovered scales growing on the backs of his hands as well. With dread he realized his fate were he to continue, and so he resolved to return no more to the dragon.

But, after a fortnight, he again sought out the dragon, having been tormented with desire. And so it transpired many times over. No matter what his determination, the prince eventually found himself pulled back, as if by the cords of an invisible web. Silently, patiently, the dragon always waited.

One cold, moonless night their excursion became a foray against a sleeping village. Torching the thatched roofs with fiery blasts from his nostrils, the dragon roared with delight when the terrified victims fled from their burning homes. Swooping in, the serpent belched again and flames engulfed a cluster of screaming villages. The prince closed his eyes tightly in an attempt to shut out the carnage.

In the pre dawn hours, when the prince crept back from his dragon trysts, the road outside his father’s castle usually remained empty. But not tonight. Terrified refugees streamed into the protective walls of the castle. The prince attempted to slip through the crowd to close himself in his chambers, but some of the survivors stared and pointed toward him.

“He was there,” one woman cried out, “I saw him on the back of the dragon.” Others nodded their heads in angry agreement. Horrified, the prince saw that his father, the King, was in the courtyard holding a bleeding child in his arms. The King’s face mirrored the agony of his people as his eyes found the prince’s. The son fled, hoping to escape into the night, but the guards apprehended him as if he were a common thief. They brought him to the great hall where his father sat solemnly on the throne. The people on every side railed against the prince.

“Banish him!” he heard one of his own brothers angrily cry out.

“Burn him alive!” other voices shouted.

As the king rose from his throne, bloodstains from the wounded shone darkly on his royal robes. The crowd fell silent in expectation of his decree. The prince, who could not bear to look into his father’s face, stared at the flagstones of the floor.

“Take off your gloves and your tunic,” the King commanded.

The prince obeyed slowly, dreading to have his metamorphosis uncovered before the kingdom. Was his shame not already enough? He had hoped for a quick death without further humiliation. Sounds of revulsion rippled through the crowd at the sight of the prince’s thick, scaled skin and the ridge growing along his spine.

The king strode toward his son, and the prince steeled himself, fully expecting a back handed blow even though he had never been struck so by his father. Instead, his father embraced him and wept as he held him tightly. In shocked disbelief, the prince buried his face against his father’s shoulder.

“Do you wish to be freed from the dragon, my son?”

The prince answered in despair, “I wished it many times, but there is no hope for me.”

“Not alone,” said the King. “You cannot win against the dragon alone.”

“Father, I am no longer your son. I am half beast,” sobbed the prince.

But his father replied, “My blood runs in your veins. My nobility has always been stamped deep within your soul.”

With his face still hidden tearfully in his father’s embrace, the prince heard the King instruct the crowd, “The dragon is crafty. Some fall victim to his wiles and some to his violence. There will be mercy for all who wish to be freed. Who else among you has ridden the dragon?”

The prince lifted his head to see someone emerge from the crowd. To his amazement, he recognized an older brother, one who had been lauded throughout the kingdom for his onslaughts against the dragon in battle and for his many good deeds. Others came, some weeping, others hanging their heads in shame. The King embraced them all.

“This is our most powerful weapon against the dragon,” he announced. “Truth. No more hidden flights. Alone we cannot resist him.”

Melinda Reinicke, Parables for Personal Growth (San Diego, CA: Recovery Publications, Inc., 1993), pp. 5-9.

Excerpt From “The Great Divorce”- The Ghost, The Lizard, and The Spirit

 In The Great Divorce, pp. 98-103, C.S. Lewis wrote:

“I saw coming towards us a Ghost who carried something on his shoulder. Like all the Ghosts, he was unsubstantial, but they differed from one another as smokes differ. Some had been whitish; this one was dark and oily. What sat on his shoulder was a little red lizard, and it was twitching its tail like a whip and whispering things in his ear. As we caught sight of him he turned his head to the reptile with a snarl of impatience. “Shut up, I tell you!” he said. It wagged its tail and continued to whisper to him. He ceased snarling, and presently began to smile. Then be turned and started to limp westward, away from the mountains.

“Off so soon?” said a voice.

The speaker was more or less human in shape but larger than a man, and so bright that I could hardly look at him. His presence smote on my eyes and on my body too (for there was heat coming from him as well as light) like the morning sun at the beginning of a tyrannous summer Tongues-of-Fireday.

“Yes. I’m off,” said the Ghost. “Thanks for all your hospitality. But it’s no good, you see. I told this little chap,” (here he indicated the lizard), “that he’d have to be quiet if he came -which he insisted on doing. Of course his stuff won’t do here: I realise that. But he won’t stop. I shall just have to go home.”

‘Would you like me to make him quiet?” said the flaming Spirit-an angel, as I now understood.

“Of course I would,” said the Ghost.

“Then I will kill him,” said the Angel, taking a step forward.

“Oh-ah-look out! You’re burning me. Keep away,” said the Ghost, retreating.

“Don’t you want him killed?”

“You didn’t say anything about killing him at first. I hardly meant to bother you with anything so drastic as that.”

“It’s the only way,” said the Angel, whose burning hands were now very close to the lizard. “Shall I kill it?”

“Well, that’s a further question. I’m quite open to consider it, but it’s a new point, isn’t it? I mean, for the moment I was only thinking about silencing it because up here-well, it’s so damned embarrassing.”

“May I kill it?”

“Well, there’s time to discuss that later.”

“There is no time. May I kill it?”

“Please, I never meant to be such a nuisance. Please-really-don’t bother. Look! It’s gone to sleep of its own accord. I’m sure it’ll be all right now. Thanks ever so much.”

“May I kill it?”

“Honestly, I don’t think there’s the slightest necessity for that. I’m sure I shall be able to keep it in order now. I think the gradual process would be far better than killing it.”

“The gradual process is of no use at all.”

“Don’t you think so? Well, I’ll think over what you’ve said very carefully. I honestly will. In fact I’d let you kill it now, but as a matter of fact I’m not feeling frightfully well to-day. It would be silly to do it now. I’d need to be in good health for the operation. Some other day, perhaps.”

“There is no other day. All days are present now.”

“Get back! You’re burning me. How can I tell you to kill it? You’d kill me if you did.”

“It is not so.”

“Why, you’re hurting me now.”

“I never said it wouldn’t hurt you. I said it wouldn’t kill you.”

“Oh, I know. You think I’m a coward. But it isn’t that. Really it isn’t. I say! Let me run back by tonight’s bus and get an opinion from my own doctor. I’ll come again the first moment I can.”

“This moment contains all moments.”

“Why are you torturing me? You are jeering at me. How can I let you tear me to pieces? If you wanted to help me, why
didn’t you kill the damned thing without asking me–before I knew? It would be all over by now if you had.”

“I cannot kill it against your will. It is impossible. Have I your permission?”

The Angel’s hands were almost closed on the Lizard, but not quite. Then the Lizard began chattering to the Ghost so loud that even I could hear what it was saying.

“Be careful,” it said. “He can do what he says. He can kill me. One fatal word from you and he will! Then you’ll be without me for ever and ever. It’s not natural. How could you live? You’d be only a sort of ghost, not a real man as you are now. He doesn’t understand. He’s only a cold, bloodless abstract thing. It may be natural for him, but it isn’t for us. Yes, yes. I know there are no real pleasures now, only dreams. But aren’t they better than nothing? And I’ll be so good. I admit I’ve sometimes gone too far in the past, but I promise I won’t do it again. I’ll give you nothing but really nice dreams–all sweet and fresh and almost innocent. You might say, quite innocent …. ”

“Have I your permission?” said the Angel to the Ghost.

“I know it will kill me.”seraphim5

“It won’t. But supposing it did?”

“You’re right. It would be better to be dead than to live with this creature.”

“Then I may?”

“d*mn and blast you! Go on can’t you? Get it over. Do what you like,” bellowed the Ghost: but ended, whimpering, “God help me. God help me.”

Next moment the Ghost gave a scream of agony such as I never heard on Earth. The Burning One closed his crimson grip on the reptile: twisted it, while it bit and writhed, and then flung it, broken backed, on the turf.

“Ow! That’s done for me,” gasped the Ghost, reeling backwards.

For a moment I could make out nothing distinctly. Then I saw, between me and the nearest bush, unmistakably solid but growing every moment solider, the upper arm and the shoulder of a man. Then, brighter still and stronger, the legs and hands. The neck and golden head materialised while I watched, and if my attention had not wavered I should have seen the actual completing of a man–an immense man, naked, not much smaller than the Angel. What distracted me was the fact that at the same moment something seemed to be happening to the Lizard. At first I thought the operation had failed. So far from dying, the creature was still struggling and even growing bigger as it struggled. And as it grew it changed. Its hinder parts grew rounder. The tail, still flickering, became a tail of hair that flickered between huge and glossy buttocks. Suddenly I started back, rubbing my eyes. What stood before me was the greatest stallion I have ever seen, silvery white but with mane and tail of gold. It was smooth and shining, rippled with swells of flesh and muscle, whinneying and stamping with its hoofs. At each stamp the land shook and the trees dindled.

The new-made man turned and clapped the new horse’s neck. It nosed his bright body. Horse and master breathed each into the other’s nostrils. The man turned from it, flung himself at the feet of the Burning One, and embraced them. When he rose I thought his face shone with tears, but it may have been only the liquid love and brightness (one cannot distinguish them in that country) which flowed from him. I had not long to think about it. In joyous haste the young man leaped upon the horse’s back. Turning in his seat he waved a farewell, then nudged the stallion with his heels. They were off before I well knew what was happening. There was riding if you like! I came out as quickly as I could from among the bushes to follow them with my eyes; but already they were only like a shooting star far off on the green plain, and soon among the foothills of the mountains. Then, still like a star, I saw them winding up, scaling what seemed impossible steeps, and quicker every moment, till near the dim brow of the landscape, so high that I must strain my neck to see them, they vanished, bright themselves, into the rose-brightness of that everlasting morning.”