Bryson’s* mother was a gospel singer on the radio, known for her voice and her faith. His father was a devout Catholic and so it was decided that Bryson would go to a Catholic school. And it was there that Bryson decided he wanted nothing to do with religion.
He experienced no love or compassion, only harsh corporal punishment and instruction to follow the rules – or else. Alcohol, football and fishing became his gods. And pornography became his master.
After leaving school, Bryson had a successful pest control business, a wife and a waterfront home, but he was not in control of his life.
When he was charged with rape, Bryson lost everything. His wife left him, he was forced to sell his house to pay legal fees and his business was closed. He says, “That’s when God finally had my attention.”
At rock bottom, and following a failed suicide attempt, he was completely alone. Until he met the prison chaplains: his only contact with the outside world and his only source of kindness.
They would bring in books and tracts for him to read and they were always there for a chat. Bryson looked forward to the weekly chapel services, they were like a ray of light, shining into the darkest places.
It was through prison chaplains that Bryson encountered the love of Jesus and left his ‘old man’ behind.
Bryson recalls a friend admitting their struggle with lust. Bryson realised he was completely free from the mastery of pornography and he shared the wisdom of Martin Luther with his friend:
“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”
Today, Bryson’s marriage has been restored, he’s been baptised, and he’s heavily involved in his local church. He also has his own unique ministry.
Bryson noticed that many prisoners weren’t allowed to be released from prison, although their sentence had been served, because they didn’t have a listed address. Bryson helps these ex-prisoners find accommodation and settle back into life on the ‘outside.’
He says: “Without God, there’s no rehabilitation. With God, I am a new creation and my old man, my sinful nature, is gone.”
* Name has been changed.