I’ve been studying someone’s soul recently. I guess you could say that I’ve been working on finding a way to better understand the process of healing a wounded soul. And with this person, I’ve come away with a sense that the Devil and his minions are really, really clever fellows.
You could say, I’m actually impressed by their range of approaches and the ease with which they can throw temptation across someone’s path.
In my definition of hell, there are four sectors: the destructive and constructive expressions of hate, and the destructive and constructive aspects of love.
I have come to conclude that the Devil sources from the sector of hell that is the destructive realm of love. It is the realm of absolute blackness, of infinite cold. The opposite of what is normally thought of when thinking of hell.
There have been instances when I’ve caught a word or a thought, an impression, perhaps, and have come to believe that when Jesus descended into hell, this is the sector into which he fell.
The destructive elements of love, obviously, are those things which we give ourselves that we shouldn’t. Or perhaps it’s also when we give ourselves too much of something. Or when that other person turns their experience of loving someone else into a form of punishment and abuse.
All those things.
Love gone wrong.
Very, very wrong.
For me, the perfect example of the Devil incarnate is Hugh Hefner. All things self-gratifying. All things that ultimately strip away a person’s essence and dignity.
So there is the Devil. And there are his demons, those broken off pieces of things that once gave us pleasure. They are like a circus fun-house all blown to bits and flitting around the universe.
On their own, or in small groups, they don’t amount to much more than an annoyance. But organized, especially by something with greater ability and power to plan and complete tasks, demons can be quite, well, disruptive to a person’s life.
The thing about demons is that they are active, very much so. This contrasts with Satan’s passive grabs for peoples’ soul energy. The difference between a plant (Satan) and an animal (demons), but not just any animal, something like a jack rabbit.
It’s there, now it’s over there, oops, there it goes.
And those qualities of being ever-moving and always-energized make demons quite something to contend with.
What demons appear to be committed to is separating a person from his sense of holiness, his feeling of being right with God.
Shame is a very powerful tool for evil. When we get to a certain point of shame, we become like Adam and Eve and, literally, we hide from our relationship with God.
Where are you?
We can, very easily, get to a point of not believing that God could love us because of the contamination that we have allowed to creep into our souls. We are easily convinced that God is not the means of healing this contamination, instead he is only the great and powerful judge, the infinite Santa Clause, who has no problem with checking us off his list.
We do not think to come to God for solace, instead we devise methods of barricading ourselves from any sense that God is in our lives.
We become adept at condemning ourselves, so we don’t even look to God for that.
Once the Devil has made inroads into our hearts, minds, and souls, we become a complete package of self-abnegation, a completely closed-off shell of anger and hatred for ourselves, instead of a functioning, dancing lover of God.
While studying this referred-to person’s soul, I’ve come to find the cleverness and adaptability of demons to be gobsmacking.
It has been revealed to me through this study that they have infinite ability and creativity in finding ways to tempt a person. You think you’ve safely avoided one snare, only to turn and find that you’ve been caught in a completely different one that you would never have anticipated.
And then to convince you that you are now “ruined,” that you are no longer fit to be in the presence of God. Which is kind of like telling a person that he is no longer suitable to go and stand in a forest, that the trees no longer want anything to do with him.
Because that is what God is like, the trees around us. The air we breathe.
If we ever want to understand our absolute relationship with God, all we have to do is hold a leaf in our hand and feel that it is just there – absolutely and for all time – with no friction between us and it.
We are just there, together.
So the more I look at this phenomena of actively estranging people from God, the more I begin to truly appreciate the role that Jesus, a man who was also fiddled with by demons, can play in being an intermediary between the wounded soul and God.
Jesus doesn’t have to be seen as The Great Condemner. Instead he can be appreciated for being just a hand. A hand that can reach out to us and offer a hand up and out of the mire that we have fallen into.
He can even be the one to sit by the side of our puddle and keep us company, offer us support, tell us stupid jokes.
His Passion can mean so many things to us. Being publicly degraded and humiliated and feeling abandoned can resonate in our hearts. His tears can be those that fall down our cheeks. His stumbling can be our awkwardness.
His love of his father can be our love of God, the Father.
We can follow his lead, even in our shame.