Flying on Splinted Wings

Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31. 
Flying was the “forgotten dream” of a bird with a broken wing.
As he was walking one day, my grandson saw a bird that couldn’t fly. He wrote the incident in verse. The wounded creature could see other birds aloft but could not join them in the “fields of blue and white.”
People are supposed to fly. I don’t mean in the theoretical sense of the old saying that if God had intended our flight, He would have given us wings.
He did give us wings–wings of heart and soul. Sometimes, life crushes those wings. Crushed spirits can only watch others fly. Pornography is a monster that crushes the spirits of men, women, and children.
But America is double minded about pornography. Here is an example:
Boston University Associate Professor Emily F. Rothman says viewing pornography is common and “can have positive effects for some users,” such as improving couples’ sexual satisfaction and helping people sort through confusion about orientation or gender.
In the same article Rothman also points to evidence that pornography “contributes to hypersexuality disorder, sexual risk-taking behavior, reduced intentions to use a condom, relationship dissatisfaction, decreased self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, and the sexual exploitation of children and adults (i.e. sex trafficking).”
So the supposedly positive effects of porn provide a degree of personal satisfaction or affirmation for some individuals. But the undeniably negative ones damage relationships, destroy health and any sense of well-being, and otherwise ruin lives.
People who study the effects, positive or negative, of any social question such as pornography tend to use language that indicates some degree of equivocation–a sense of maybe.  They say that study results seem to suggest this result or may indicate that outcome.
In her article, Rothman says, “One area where the research is becoming increasingly clear is the contribution of SEM [sexually explicit material] to partnership abuse, defined here as dating or non-stranger sexual aggression.” Partnership abuse means victims know those who abuse them. There is no maybe here. It is “increasingly clear” that increased porn use means increased violence.
Yet in the face of such violence, many victims remain silent. Embarrassment, self-blame, and fear keep them silent. And it isn’t just partnership abuse. It’s child abuse and sex trafficking.
Porn is the root of monstrosity.
According to Rothman, whether porn’s effects are positive or negative depends on the people involved and the context; “just as alcohol, cars, and dessert” can be positive or negative for various individuals. Comparing it to alcohol, cars, and dessert portrays porn in morally neutral language.
Porn is not morally neutral.
It traps people. And it grabs them when they’re young. Rothman says 66 percent of boys and 39 percent of girls have viewed porn accidentally or intentionally by age 14.
Greg Dyer was 15. “I can still picture the first images that I saw. That was always a part of my life, pornography was.” His addiction nearly destroyed his marriage. It was something he kept hidden for years. But he found help in his church–from a former porn addict.
Porn is in our churches.
But the addicted and exploited among us are afraid to say so. Trena Mewborn is a counselor who says nearly 50 percent of her Christian clients struggle with pornography and sex addiction issues. Each one who struggles feels alone. “That was the feeling: that nobody else in my church struggles; Christians don’t look at pornography.  Christians don’t struggle with sexual sin,” she said.”I am the only one with this struggle.”
But no one is ever the only one with any struggle. And getting help in your struggle means you can help others overcome theirs.
People explain their troubles when they feel safe. God intends churches to be sanctuaries for the addicted and the victimized. God intends His Church to splint the wings of wounded birds. We are the only way for the crushed to fly once more.
We must not remain silent.

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