Written By Lou L.
What does it mean to be a real man of God? It means courage, faith, and a willingness to do what needs to be done. Real men save lives, protect the weak, and sacrifice themselves in so many ways to make our society stronger, safer, and freer. And yet, today, too many have remained silent when they need to speak or idle when they need to act. There may be many reasons for this. Perhaps you are focused on other things, swept up in the current day-to-day of life, or perhaps you think there is no threat needing your heroic skill set. I too used to be on the sidelines. I put it off for two and a half years due to fear of the unknown, but now I’m glad I became engaged.
Now, I have gotten in the game. This is my personal journey.
I was a registered nurse for 36 years, working psychiatry for 31 years. Thousands of times in my career, I had to stand firm dealing with aggressive threatening patients and, at times, staff that didn’t back me up – perceiving my actions to be unnecessarily macho or aggressive. When in reality, I was merely approaching the situation from a male perspective, something rare in professions that are female dominated, as mine was. Certainly, I never hurt a single patient in my 31 years of psychiatric work. To the contrary, many times I succeeded in maintaining control of a situation just by my presence and a few firm statements: showing no fear and exhibiting a willingness to ensure safety in the unit. That said, there were also times when more physical involvement was necessary. Vigilant readiness proved important, as patients who began by appropriately engaging staff, could suddenly become threatening or violent. These moments required swift and often physically defensive action. Without this, patients could pose a danger to themselves and others. During my career, I exerted order more through actions than words, maintaining a pro-active alertness and exuding a calm confidence to keep our surroundings emotionally balanced.
I retired from nursing nearly 4 years ago. At first, I used the extra time to catch up on life and work through some health issues that had developed. Suddenly in March 2020, Covid and community lockdowns occurred. As I became alert to my surroundings and began pro-actively researching the virus, I began to recognize inconsistencies in the information that was promoted through government agencies. I also started to see the mental health toll on our community, the decline in physical fitness from mandating everyone stay indoors, and other health care inconsistencies. I could see that this was becoming an urgent situation, similar to my days as a nurse on a mental health ward, though there were no sudden hyper-aggressive behaviors that required heroic intervention. Or was there?
In August 2020 the attempts at forced universal lockdown compliance in St. Louis County irrespective of mental health, spiritual or economic needs brought about a collective revolt. The people of St. Louis County swarmed the St. Louis County Council meeting and the people began to speak out in huge numbers. I was there that first night, but was happy to merely be in the hallway outside, watching the meeting on a monitor. The public was angry and many speakers came forward, but I continued to hold off saying anything. I didin’t want to start anything I remembered my days in psychiatry when I came under fire for speaking out or exhibiting what some claimed was macho behavior when taking control of dangerous situations. No need for a hero just yet, right? Or was I just allowing past false accusations of male dominance to create a passive demeanor in me today?
I attended our county council meetings and remained silent for the next two and a half years. However, I discussed my concerns with my wife frequently. Then, one day she’d had enough. She asked me to deliver a statement for her, since she could not attend. I prepared my own and delivered both messages within the allotted 3 minutes at the next county council meeting. It was like a dam finally broke. That day, March of 2023, was the beginning of me publicly speaking out. After the first time, I found I could no longer remain silent.
I continued speaking truth weekly, at first about topics related to covid. Then, I appropriately transitioned into addressing the radical transgender movement, along with many other societal issues. It only took about six weeks for God to begin opening some unexpected doors. By invitation, I delivered a speech to the North County Republicans on the horrors of transgenderism and what was being done to innocent young victims. I have also spoken at the Faith Based Voters Group in South County and recently been part of a panel at Grace, sharing my experience on the value of speaking truth to our broken culture. In this I have felt God’s hand guiding me many times and I know He is leading me toward great things.
When we were young, many of us had heroes that we looked up to. Today, a new form of heroism is needed. Whether you work one the front lines as a police officer, firefighter, or military or you work in the business sector, engineering, maintenance or medicine. Wherever you are and wherever God has put you, as a man, I am calling out to you. You are needed, now more than ever. Your voice, your words and your presence can wield great power to impact this world for the better. You are the greatest asset to help redeem your community.
Now is the time to stand up and refuse to remain silent. Go to your local county council meetings, your local school board meetings. Go down to Jefferson City to meet and talk with some of our representatives. Get connected through our Civic Engagement ministry and find a place you can contribute, There are so many ways to get in the game. Please join me in doing God’s work!