MARK OF THE BEAST

I saw the devil the other day and it did not look like popular depiction.  Instead, it wore the scariest face of all… that of an ordinary person.

Not being high up the spiritual food chain, I never expected a personal visit.  I mean, why would the Trickster be interested in my life?  I don’t have dominion over anything but myself, and am hardly the kind of person to lead the righteous into battle, so imagine my surprise when the placid matron in front of me suddenly morphed into the Lord of the Flies.

She didn’t look particularly evil -aside from the usual middle-aged vanity-, and her intelligence seemed only average at best.  Yet as she turned to leave, her eyes flashed a sickly yellow and her sword found its mark.  Its blade was only sharp words, but they cut deep and I found myself spinning helplessly in an eddy of self-doubt.

I tried to disguise the pain by plastering on a benign look, but she knew it was false, and even smiled as she left the room.  I tried not to think about fangs, but her shiny porcelain veneers covered more than uneven canines.  I didn’t realize until later, after I had sorted through my anger and discarded the theory that she was just another bitchy female, that I had been ambushed by Old Scratch.

At first I was alarmed.  Presbyterian horrors flooded my mind:  Fire!  Brimstone!  Pitchforks to the heinie!  I was gagging with terror.  The theoretical clash of Good versus Evil was making real contact with my own life and it almost paralyzed me with fear.

Almost.

What if the Adversary had actually done me a favor?

I realized that I had a chink in my armor.  I was still holding onto ideas that, if challenged, could trigger fear and doubt.   And what were those ideas anyway… self-importance?  Achievement?  Could I truly be damaged by another person’s poor opinion and careless words? Only if I think acknowledgement confirms my merit.

What’s more is that I discovered a chink in the Fiend’s armor, too.  No matter how many millions he terrorizes, he will never be satisfied because he is as entangled in the Original Error as any of us.  If it’s true that Lucifer was cast down because he wanted to be like God, then his punishment was due to misperception and not ambition.   You cannot covet what you already have.  If God created everything, then everything is of God and cannot be separated from Her.  Acts of cruelty and violence upon another become self-inflicted wounds that fester and cannot be cured from without.

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2 Responses to “MARK OF THE BEAST”

  1. I like how you used “she” for God, instead of the usual stereotype. This reminded me of the evils one faces everyday and how one can pick how it affects his or her life.

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