One of the reasons for blogging is the requests from men who have come here to Canaan to write more on men’s issues. Men have come here to Canaan for what we call “wildman Saturdays.” An important aspect of the wildman experience is the opportunity for men to come together to explore the nature of “the masculine soul.” Soul is a word that has once again become important in giving folks spiritual direction in their lives. It is important for us to remember that we just don’t have a soul, but we are a soul. We are “embodied souls.” This means that there is a vital connection between the physical and the emotional in our lives. The need for the head and heart integration is central for a man, as he grows in spiritual and emotional dimensions. It should be obvious that the masculine soul will be different then the feminine soul. The problem is that most men do not have access to their masculine soul. Instead many men are afraid of what is on the inside (that is, in the soul) not having the language with which to access inner reality. To access the reality of the soul in the light of Jesus and to focus our gaze on him as we find “soul healing” is a vital part of the wildman journey.
For this bog site, which includes aspects of the wildman journey, I would like to suggest two theme verses. The first is in Hosea 10:12, “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your heart, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you” (NLT). Hosea first points our the need for planting seeds of righteousness in order that we might harvest a crop of love. Righteousness has to do with being rightly related to God. This comes to us as a gift of God, through the work of Jesus for us on the cross. So in this sense the seeds that we are to plant are the gifts of grace that God give to us in Jesus. As we come to understand more fully the grace of God we will come to experience a harvest of love. With this awareness of grace and love in our lives we will then be able to “plow up the hard ground of our hearts.” It is only in the understanding of the reality of grace and love in their lives that men are able to plow up their hard hearts. For a wildman, gaining access to his heart is vital. The last part of the verse says that the time is now. Yes, the time has come for men to plow up their hardened hearts before the Lord and other men. We desparately need communities of “wildmen.”
The other theme verse is Proverbs 4:23, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (NLT). This simply means that wildmen have come to the point in their lives, when they know they have to pay attention to their hearts (soul). Why? Because as the verse infers it determines the course of their lives. The time has come for men to get out of “automatic pilot” and get into the driver’s seat. This means that wildmen are willing to take the inner journey. This journey is not some kind of narcissistic, lonely look at a frightened soul, shivering in the darkness of guilt and shame. Rather it is seeing our soul in the light of Jesus and in the presence of other men who are making the same discoveries. I can say with deep conviction that men need to bond together to deal with their soul lives. Remember we are talking about the masculine soul. To many of us men have had our mothers or even our wives define for us what is soul, giving to us a female mode of feeling that is foreign to the feeling mode of the masculine soul.