“Each day, each day is a battle down here in Babylon…Long is the road to Mount Zion, strong are the arms that carry me there…” (‘Surrender’, Christafari)
I think this constant mystification of the spiritual is often silly and ultimately detrimental. Maybe Rihanna kills chickens and sticks needles in dolls. Maybe she doesn’t. In the unlikely even that she does, I’m not down with that. There’s a whole lotta things I’m equally not down with – anything that will eventually or immediately tear me or anyone else down should not get my energy. But if you really want to find a devil-worshipper, you probably don’t have to look very far. While I do believe in the autonomy and agency of a being known as the Devil, I also think ‘Devil’ is a concept which embodies any and everything that is contrary to our spiritual edification. Nothing we do is neutral – it either will ultimately contribute to our strengthening, or our weakening, our victory or failure. And how many times have I – have you, have we – allowed something in our lives which stole our joy, our peace, our safety, our love? How many times have we not exercised power over the things which do us more harm than good? Who gets glorified then? …God? Hm.
The good news for those of us who have ever felt like pulling a trigger – whether it was a loaded gun, or just releasing ourselves to our demons in helpless despair – is that while Rihanna’s song ends with a bullet, darkness doesn’t have to be the end of any story. We are made in His image – glorify the God in you. The God of this expansive universe lends us His power to overcome. And while this is often difficult to fathom, don’t waste time mystifying it anymore than we mystify the notion of ‘the Devil’. Only Believe.