The story of “The Red Man” actually goes back to this past fall. During that time, it felt like every door was slammed in my face, jamming my toe in the doorway may I add. It felt like every corner had a thief ready to attack me once I crossed by. It felt like every morning I would wake up in the middle of a desert and have no idea how I got there. It was just one big mess of confusion, frustration, loneliness, and doubt. And like I had mentioned in my blog “I’m Not Done”, all I wanted was for it all to be over.
And I’m sure you know, if you are a Christian, that when so much frustration and confusion comes at once, it opens up a door for Satan to come in and try to offer you a false sense of comfort. This type of comfort, this type of peace, is something that most believers can catch. But in troubling seasons like this, it becomes difficult to define. So during that time is whenever I just could not stop looking at what Satan was offering me. I know by the righteousness of Jesus that I had no reason to even look at his offer, let alone come close to taking it. But in moments of such weakness and exhaustion, it becomes tempting. Hence why it is called temptation. It looks good and promising.
Never willing to take him on the offer yet never willing to deny it, his temptation constantly sat on my table. It wasn’t until one night I grew so overwhelmed by all of the pressure that I cried out to God and asked for Him to remove that offer of sin. I was too weak to turn it down. I needed Him to step in to take it away. After about a good half hour or so, I cried to God one more time and immediately felt a pause in the world. A vision of a desert came to my mind with a deep cliff in the distant. Full of a deep darkness, a rock rested at the edge of the cliff with a man perched on top. The man was red, almost like maroon clay. Crouched down looking at me, he was wearing a mask. That mask was my temptation. The thing the enemy was offering me, the Red Man was wearing it. Then I could hear God speak to me, telling me, “It’s only a mask.” The corpse hiding behind the mask was only using it to lure me in. He wanted me just close enough to grab me and throw me over the rocks into his darkness. That is the danger of the mask.
Cole and I came up with the idea to do a photo shoot based on “The Red Man”. As we were discussing this shoot, we began to wonder what the mask would actually look like. It would be really hard to make a mask based on my own temptation, but it would also diminish the point of sharing it with you all. We understood that not everyone will deal with the same sins as I do, so we wanted the mask to be reflective to the person looking at it. Thus, we found the chrome mask that mimics a mirror. For whenever we look into the face of the Red Man, it reveals our deepest desires: ourselves. We want what pleases us. We want what will satisfy us. Our flesh wants what it wants. The only problem is that it’s going to get us killed. That is the reason Christ says “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-26).
Therefore, we need to know and believe that Christ came in not only to rip that mask off, but to defeat the Red Man himself. The purpose of this poem is to reveal that we are weak without the intervention of Jesus. For the offering looks to good to be true, that’s why we needed God to step in to show that it is. The only thing that is true is Jesus himself.