Every man needs allies. Allies are other men who have weathered battles with us. Not just friends, not just brothers, but blood stained men with warrior hearts who have our back. These are men who don’t shy away from a spiritual fight and stand with us in the battle. Hawkeye has his Mohican friends, Chingachgook and Uncas. Frodo perseveres because of Sam. David had Jonathan. Jesus has his band of outlaw disciples. Allies are men who love us, care about us, and will go to battle with us.
Allies are those fellow fighters who won’t allow us to be blindsided but will fight for our reputation and our cause. David had such mighty men who believed in his cause and risked their lives to make him king. These allies were men of strong, warrior hearts whose exploits are so important that they are recorded in scripture (1 Chronicles 11-12).
Allies war for our hearts. They are men who know what is within us and passionately desire to see us reach our full potential in Christ. Emerson wrote, “We take care of our health. We lay up money. We make our roof tight. We make our clothing sufficient. But who provides wisely that he shall not be wanting in the best property of all, friends—friends strong and true?” Allies are able to understand our weaknesses and sinful tendencies because they never cut and run, but battle with us through our shame, anxieties, and fears.
Few men see the value of other men in their lives. We are taught from childhood to be an Atlas, carry the world on our shoulders, to be a John Wayne, one who never shares his true feelings. Yet, it’s not working for most men. Men are losing the spiritual war because they have no one who will stand with them in the battle of life.
Satan is winning with men. Men are dropping out, copping out, and backing out because they have no true allies. The quiet desperation of being a man alone is playing right into the hands of satan. We miss out on so much of God’s adventure because we have no fellow comrades.
Written upon our hearts is the longing for true friends. We need men who understand that life is a war, relationships are complex, and failures are inevitable. What would it be like to have less judgment and more mercy in sharing our hearts with each other? What might it feel like to be fully loved and forgiven by other men? Oh, it might be kind of like…the kingdom of God. Didn’t I read somewhere that we are supposed to seek that one first?
Seek after comrades—men who are a fellowship of the heart, men who are fully alive. That’s what I want. That’s what I need. That’s the kingdom of God. Allies.
On The Road,