I’ve spent my life straddling two worlds. And, to be honest, it has, on the whole, been annoying. Really, really annoying.
Working with God all these years has sharpened that expression of my brain that loves exactness. I was an editor until I realized that I could never stop editing. I would edit roadside signs. I would edit menus. I would edit pretty much everything coming out of anyone’s mouth.
So I stopped being an editor.
But with God, in some ways, I get to continue being an editor. Because what I learn from him always has an exact edge. It is precise.
It is absolute.
Hard, like a rock. Solid.
But with people, it’s always about mushing things together. It’s OK to just think this about that, isn’t it? There’s always a justification. An explanation.
I think people, in truth, like explaining themselves best of anything they do.
It was like this, officer.
I only kissed her, darling, because it was her birthday. Why would I do it otherwise, sweetie-pie?
No precision. No firmness.
Just a bunch of jellyfish-thoughts that swim about and attach themselves to whatever is handy.
Annoying. I find the daily contrast annoying.
And so it was, trying to explain my frustration with the way people (or, in this case, a person) put all things evil into one big stewpot and make it all one big mess.
Mix it all up. What’s it matter?
Well, editor and God-student, replies, There’s A Difference!
Exactly! God (I imagine) would reply.
I mean there’s differences in soul structure. To me, and to no other I imagine, there is a significant difference between Satan’s mushroom-structure soul snatching, actually possessing, bringing all his souls into one big uni-soul for him to feed off, and the antiChrist’s trading services for soul bits. Like in the movies. You know, sign on the dotted line and the money for law school will be yours.
Except it’s not quite so big, the swap. We consciously and willingly give bits of our soul to the antiChrist for whatever is on our wishlist that day.
Satan can possess a soul that is completely oblivious to the snatch.
There’s a difference.
And there’s intent. Those evil forces that are only out for the soul energy they can get their “hands” on are different, very different, from that amazing evil force that could care less about soul energy (because he has no soul of his own to feed): Lucifer. The angel.
And then there’s place of origin.
With evil we have a choice of origins: The destructive nature of hate, and The destructive nature of love.
And there’s a difference there. A BIG difference.
The devil is from the latter. Not the fiery realm of seething hatred, but from the neverending blackness of maniacal love.
For me, the perfect representation of the devil on Earth is Hugh Hefner.
Just take a minute and think about how much money that man has made showing people how to “love” themselves and others in completely destructive ways.
Love gone very wrong. As a business.
How evil can one man be?
And that’s the thing with the devil and his minions, otherwise known as demons. They take the beautiful gift of love and break it into pieces, and then attack you with the piece in hand.
Like a broken toy that’s been left on the step and it gashes your foot as you slip down in the night with bare feet for some cocoa.
That’s the devil.
Nothing huge. No gargantuan beast looming in the forest, waiting for you to pass by. No, just little bits and pieces that can pile up and bring you down.
Termites consuming a house.
One drink, then another, until it’s too many and it’s too late to stop. Or at least it feels that way.
I think it’s its piece-structure that makes dealing with the devil so difficult.
I set out to pray for South Sudan a couple of years ago. I kept seeing prayers for the country, and was moved by the intensity of the desire to reach out and help. So I started to “look” into it.
And what I saw almost immediately is that I knew nothing, absolutely nothing, about animism, which I could sense was strongly active in South Sudan. I could sense water spirits, and mountain spirits, and just a whole lot of mojo that made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
There’s one thing about evil: its expressions are infinite.
So I said to myself, Look, there’s got to be something you can understand about all this mess.
And so I focused my “looking,” and found that someone or something knew a whole lot about manipulating demons.
I could see what looked to me like a virtual umbrella of demons just flitting about in this shield-structure over the South Sudan. What I could also see was that all those prayers going into the South Sudan, for the love of South Sudan and her people, were not only being deflected from reaching their goal, but they were actually being turned into something else (broken up) that would actually hurt the country and her residents.
So, I put it out there (don’t ask) that all prayers STOP being made until this barrier of demons was dealt with.
Now. How does one go about disbursing essentially playful imps who like to cause mischief?
A very good question.
If you had a bunch of children in your yard pulling up your flowers, would you turn a hose on them? Maybe. But would that be the most effective way of convincing them to stop what they were doing and not do it again? No.
So, I began a prayer. A steady stream of a prayer. A pray-always kind of prayer.
Thanking the demons for helping out (whoever they were serving). And telling them that they could go now. It was all right. Everything was fine. Others would take over where they left off.
(So I lied.)
But I was very, very, very nice about it.
The goal, I could see, was to sweep them, literally, out of the universe. Like dust.
It’s there. It’s annoying. It has to go.
But it doesn’t have to take a whole lot of energy and effort to accomplish the task.
Make any sense?
I hope so.
Now, yes, I do, from time-to-time, rant about the hypothetical ordination of women. But I have a right to.
A real right.
Because fighting evil, with broom and anything else that is necessary, is what the woman’s soul was designed for.
Not the gentle, repetitive work of a priest. Circling the table. Lifting up the plate and cup. Uttering the same words. Again and again and again.
No. Actually, women are the Terminators of the soul country.
And, see, this may sound strange, but it has everything to do with contamination.
Women have an almost infinite capacity to absorb contamination. They can fight evil, go home, make a pizza, bathe the babies, have a glass of wine, and call it a day.
No Big Deal.
But you don’t want that contamination on the altar of the Lord. You don’t want the body and blood of Christ to be handled by someone who was just kicking the booty of an evil one.
Men, I’ve noticed, make a big, big deal about protecting themselves from evil and cleansing themselves from evil and wondering if a little bit of evil has squeezed out of whatever mess it was in.
Don’t get me wrong. Men can disburse evil.
It’s just that they need armor to do it.
Women. Just a broom and a dustpan will do. Or a cloth. Or a drum.
Or whatever is handy and works.
That’s the great thing about real women’s work in the church: it’s always a changing challenge. Always a new conflict with its own dimensions.
Hey, we weren’t witches for nothing, you know. Or housewives, for that matter.
Brooms have their very definite use in the spiritual world.
So remember, when contending with a demon: think gratitude, think acknowledgement. Then, when you have it’s attention, grab the broom and make sure you get it past the place where it is something and back into the land of nothing.
Practice, and you’ll understand eventually.