Divorce Court

I sit here. An only child. Satan and God are battling for custody. I have two daddies! But they are not together. They have never been together.

I sit staring straight ahead, but my concentration has the strength of a dead dandelion. One suggestive exhale and the seeds of doubt loosen and drift, land and root.

Satan’s outfit is a scientific study of cool. Classification: self-consciously careless. The tight tailored black pants with extra length that gathers around the boot. The oxford shirt with the sleeves rolled up. The slicked-back hair with a few strands falling forward. Some would say he’s always closing a deal; he would say he’s always “gaining agreement.”  He walks to my side, gently curls the hair behind my ear and speaks softly into it. The words are fur handcuffs – individuality, dignity,  rights – that seem sexy, until you can’t squeeze out of them.  He places his hands on my shoulders, his body leaning into my back. The body heat is a current – natural, justifiable, persuasive – that makes me lean back into him.

God’s outfit? Even in the early ’90’s, in Seattle, it wouldn’t have been cool. Shapeless robe stitched of rags. Unshaven. Hair to His waist. Clean, though. And those eyes – the warmth and danger of glowing coals. I have a lot of time to look into those eyes, because they’re always looking at me. He doesn’t talk nearly as much as Satan; when He does it’s clearer, but more confusing. The words are ropes – submission, humility, self-denial – that bind and strengthen. He stands and opens His arms to me. The posture is a cross – humiliating, absolute, restorative – that draws me to Him.

I look for a judge, a jury, a door – there are none. Then I remember. The three of us have always been here. We will always be here. And my choice changes by the moment.

7 thoughts on “Divorce Court

  1. You absolutely fascinate me.

    Also, in other news, I was watching a review of a new Nokia smartphone and the narrator sounded just like you.

  2. Your personal experience of satan is much darker and sexier than my own experiences. I think I would have even more trouble if he curled his finger in my hair rather that flicking my nose.

  3. Horrifying, reassuring. Your choice has been made. You don’t know it. Go to a tall building and look out its windows listening to an angry Bach organ cantata or fugue and you will see God. He’ll sneak up on you and remind you that everything is His. Even you.

  4. Darling, you fascinate me – submission, humility and self-denial are so against our narcissistic-tendencies – our desire to be at the center of the stage or the dance floor.

  5. I shudder at this image, somehow, at both images of God and Bing Crosby…I mean Satan. Even with all the theological training I have, this picture is staggeringly familiar. Very much like something C.S. Lewis might write. Part of me wants to reject it outright, as I reject most cultural decorum of what that eternal mimetic rivalry looks like. Despite me visceral response to the writing, I’m grateful it is here.

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