26 Oct Overcoming anger and blame to become a man: Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson helps a young man lose rage, find forgiveness
By Paul Bremmer
Marquis still remembers the moment he met the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson.
He was attending a gathering in Los Angeles at the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, or BOND, of which Peterson is the founder and president.
Marquis was 19 or 20 at the time, and he looked like many other young urban African-Americans: dreadlocks, a big necklace, gold grills in his mouth, and earrings in his ears.
In the midst of a crowd, Peterson introduced himself to Marquis and started chatting. Peterson noted the young man’s earrings and asked if he was trying to attract men.
Marquis was taken aback that this man whom he had just met would ask such an abrasive question. But then Peterson explained himself: Earrings were something women wore to beautify themselves and attract men. They did not belong on a man’s ears.
“I’ve always been a guy that once I hear the truth, regardless of how it sounds or whatever, I accept it no matter what,” Marquis recalled during a recent interview with Peterson on the latter’s radio show. “When you said that … it was an immediate respect earner. You got my attention when you came at me like that.”
So Marquis took out his earrings and “threw them down the street,” as he put it. That was at least 10 years ago, and he has not worn any earrings since. At some point – he can’t remember when – he also cut off his dreadlocks.
Marquis was on “The Jesse Lee Peterson Radio Show” to talk about how Peterson and BOND had helped him become a man by overcoming the anger and blame that had plagued his life. In fact, Peterson recently wrote a book, “The Antidote,” that aims to help other troubled black people like Marquis turn their lives around as well.
For Marquis, the changed physical appearance was one part of the turnaround, but perhaps the more important part was the improvement in Marquis’ relationship with his parents, who divorced before Marquis had entered his teenage years.
“I remember it being confusing, because it was almost like you have to pick a side,” he said. “I remember feeling a little confused emotionally about which parent to live with and who was to blame for them splitting up.”
Young Marquis wanted to live with his father, but his dad drove trucks and was not home often, so the boy went to live with his mother instead.
Growing up without his father, Marquis felt pressure to be the man of the house. His mother had to work hard to take care of Marquis and his two younger brothers, and the strain of single motherhood affected her patience.
Oftentimes, when his mother made him angry, Marquis would turn to her and fume, “I want to go with my dad. I want my dad!” He was only able to see his dad every other weekend.
Marquis felt angry at not being able to control his own life. He claims he dealt with the anger through sex. But then he went to BOND and met Peterson, who also writes a WND column, and the reverend helped him find the inner strength to forgive his parents.
Marquis said the first step toward forgiveness was realizing anger was holding him in an iron grip.
Read the full story at wnd.com