"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.
Your adversary, The Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour."
(1 Peter 5:8)
I was shaking in my nine-year-old boots. It sounded as if Pastor Eddy was breathing fire from the pulpit, "The Devil! He'll show you visions that will stick in your mind! He'll show you visions and play tunes for you that'll slowly, gently warp your spirit and the souls of your children! He ain't that little red, horned man! He's that movie director! He's that record executive! He's that entertainer teaching sin through a lullaby!"
I feared I've already come into contact with this demonic material. I've already listened to the siren's song. His preaching pulled perverse, pornographic images to the forefront of my imagination. I felt terrible because I knew there was no turning back. My eyes and flesh has been deflowered, my mind was already seduced and twisted.
As a kid, I couldn't keep my hands out of my Dad's stash of porn. My vivid imagination did the rest of The Devil's work. I wanted to be with God and His Holy Spirit. I wanted a place in Heaven reserved for me. I prayed for my purity back, for my brain to be cleansed of any unholy thoughts. I asked God to remove all thoughts of orgies, cock sucking and homosexuality from my mind. I begged for Him to cure me of my unclean appetites.
I found Freddy Kruger to be hilarious. The Boogie Man was too far fetched for me to fear. But, I was terrified of Satan. "What if he came disguised as an offer I couldn't refuse?" I figured he wielded the power to turn people into pedophiles, murderers and monsters. Furthermore, I was taught that he was the author and steward of everything wicked, evil and inconvenient.
One day, while studying The Bible, I read some verses that had a strange/beautiful/devastating effect on me and my faith.
"The One forming light and creating darkness
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am The Lord who does all these"
For reasons I'm still learning, I felt a great deal of relief when I read that scripture. That verse upstarted my freedom, letting me know that God is a part of it all. Parking tickets, warfare and (dare I say) assault are born from the same Father as bubble gum, blessings and love. To this day, it still makes sense to me. When you think about it, every victory means defeat for someone else. Every blessing falls out of someone else's pocket. Good and Evil has always been a package deal since the beginning of time.
Maybe The Devil is a part of the grand scheme? Maybe he serves a purpose just like everything else? I've gained great strength through misfortune. I've discovered truth while dwelling in darkness. Hell, without him I wouldn't be the brilliant pervert I am today. Maybe, Pastor Eddy was right!