I go to church. I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I’m developing a huge crush on John Crist. Look him up. And sometimes, I find myself in conversations with church people and think, “I’d be careful who you tell that too because people will think you’re crazy.” I admit I’m crazy, so I don’t care that I’m about to drop some fun Roonil facts on you that will make you think, “Crazy Town, Population: You.”
Sunday, I talked with a woman who believes strongly in the spiritual world, even though she doesn’t always understand it. I guess, she believes other people when they speak about the spiritual world would be a better way to put it. I worry a lot about her for it, but I don’t think it’s my place to say you’re wrong. It’s that weird place where I’m torn. She hasn’t said anything blatantly heretical, but also, everything in my upbringing says that’s crazy talk. She’s so great in so many ways, but she started talking about having people get rid of the evil spirits in her house and I had to stop completely to look at her while wondering, “Is this real life? Do Lutherans really do those sorts of things?” I was confusion.
I know to be true that God exists.
So does the devil.
So do angels.
So do demons.
I don’t think how angels, but especially the devil and demons interact with the physical world is always a scene out of The Exorcist. They’re more like, bro-demons. You hang around them, but they want you to make terrible life decisions. You go along with them more than you feel comfortable admitting. Your secret shame is that you think they’re kind of great. But then, of course, sometimes you have to look at them and think, “That’s exactly opposite of how I want to live my life.”
Bro-Demon: Don’t go to church. Sleep is god.
Me: I like your point, but I’m questioning your theology.
Bro-Demon: Oh you’ve forgiven that person? But remember how…
*ten minutes later*
Me: Screw forgiveness. I hate that bitch.
Bro-Demon: That planned crashed and burned. You made a total ass of yourself. Probably should just go hurt yourself. Maybe commit suicide.
Me: Yeah. Wait. The fuck?
And then afterward, or weeks later, there’s the inevitable conversation with God about it. And, often, he’s that guy who’s trying to be kind and compassionate about approaching the topic.
Me: I know! I know. It was not a proud moment. I’m sorry.
God: Yes. It was not. I love you. I forgive you. Let’s not do that ever again.
Which we both know it will happen again, and he’ll still love and forgive me again. It’s a vicious cycle until it turns into this conversation:
God: Hey, moron. What the hell are you doing? When did I ever say that was okay?
Me: Well you see… okay, yeah. I don’t have any excuse. I’m sorry.
God: Yes. You don’t. I love you. I forgive you. Let’s not do that ever again.
What I don’t subscribe to is that my depression and anxiety are because evil spirits are infecting my thoughts. Who knows, maybe when I finally go to heaven I’ll see that I’m wrong and it was demons all the time? But I really don’t think so, even though this nice church lady (whom I’ve grown to love dearly as a friend) would like to pray away the evil spirits when I’m anxious. *insert skeptical frown-y face*
I think illness is a sign of a sinful world. God created everything to be perfect. Humans screwed everything up. Sin is in the world and we see the repercussions of it. It’s not just people sinning. It’s illness and famine. It’s the world devolving into chaos and disorder. It’s extinction and pollution and war and everything going to hell in a handbasket.
I didn’t do anything to cause my mental illness, neither did my parents. My brain is sick, just like people get sick from colds to terminal diseases. I need medicine and a doctor. Prayer is powerful. Prayer helps. But I firmly believe God made people talented at being doctors and pharmaceuticals to also help ease the pain of this particular consequence of living in a sinful world. I don’t think it’s a demon.
I don’t deny their existence, but science is still a thing. I don’t know if this makes me a bad secular person or a bad Christian. I manage to find myself at odds with both circles of people simultaneously – like there’s a Venn diagram of things the church doesn’t agree with and things the world doesn’t agree with and I’m always standing where the circles meet.
Honestly, this is one time that I’m happy not to be talking to a real person. I never hide my faith from therapist. I find that impossible considering the setting and purpose of therapy. I do however worry about what they believe and will they react poorly to my beliefs and please don’t hate me because the Christians you tend to see in the news are bastards. Kay, thanks.
Therapy is hard when it’s being around human beings that’s the problem.