This video I stumbled across today (after I dreamed of a place much like this, even though I don’t remember ever seeing this video) speaks to where I have been, but I hope you won’t think this is a tale of how I wish I could go back to a time before I had sold my soul. We can only learn and move forward.
See, once you sell even one tiny piece of your soul, it becomes easier to peddle more and more of yourself off–for security, respect, legacy, recognition, and ‘love.’
We live in a culture that prizes selling our souls to attain everything we can dream. We rationalize this as doing the right thing, being responsible or fixing our mistakes so that our shame can’t hold us back.
Often selling our soul is an attempt to buy band-aids that we can place on our sins and our scars.
As a Christian, I am not immune to the selling of my soul. In fact, the Enemy can fashion new evil currency out of twisted bits of tradition and Holy Scripture to entice me.
If Jesus can be tempted in the wilderness by Satan, so can we.
Don’t forget our Lord’s temptation had to do with showing the world who He was. While his soul fashioned from the word of God testified that his death and resurrection would be the defining moment, Satan told Jesus to bow down to him and then Satan would give him the world’s nations. (Exactly why America CAN’T be Jesus’s nation, because Jesus did NOT succumb to temptation.)
Just so, my worst temptations come in forms that promise quick return. For me, this is a fast bandaging for sins and scars that I carry that I fear will keep me from my soul’s truth–serving my Creator and Savior. But we can’t approach God as zombies, our wounds oozing through the bandages, staggering and lusting for more blood.
Jesus offers us his own blood in order to transform us into new life.
However, our soul, even by itself, which was created by God, thus splintered and scattered by the Enemy’s temptation is still a force to be reckoned with.
Reading Palmer Parker yesterday has given me an understanding of the soul that rings truth to me as I look back on the last five years.
You see, I can’t shake the feeling, my soul’s truth, that I deviated from a path several years ago. The path was definitely yet in the wilderness of hope, full of temptation, difficult but also there is no shortcuts.
Just like when hiking, what seems to be a short cut, can end up getting you hopelessly lost.
When we are lost, we may try to find the stars to navigate by, but sometimes we are only left with airplanes, wishes and shooting stars.
And sometimes, when we are lost, we sell off bigger and bigger chunks of our soul.
So what can save such a soul dispersed?
For me, it is pain.
A life coach I know says “Rejection is sometime’s God’s protection.” That’s true.
And why is that?
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”― C.S. Lewis
Left on its own, I am sure the soul, like a wild animal, chews it’s way out of traps, leaving bits behind. I humbly must allow Christ to put me back together, but I must do my piece as well.
Even after I have treated my soul so terribly, sold it and abused it, forced it to go where it knew it had no business being, my soul pulls itself together and cries, “God, not my will, but thy will be done.” When I have sold my soul, my soul struggles to become whole, and Jesus is my ransom. I am not my own, I am Christ’s own.
But if I persist in abandoning my post, acting as if I’m my own to do with what I please, soon I will lock myself into the prison of my own personal hell.
Perhaps even as I sold my soul, I only sold my ability to commune with it. Perhaps it becomes trapped with me in my own prison, my own hell.
I dreamed last night that I was in a private prison with a lot of people. I had comrades who I didn’t wholly trust, either, and it was the sort of gruesome place where I wasn’t safe from anyone or anything, and I knew my death was foremost on the minds of those in power.
At one point, I was in a cell at night with prison mates all around me, as an assassin, a beautiful, thin but strong woman with long, dark hair and bronze skin snuck in to attack us. She thought we were all sleeping and she sought to do us violence. I jumped up with a toddler fork in my hand and stabbed her in the throat. I can still feel the thick, sticky blood pouring over my hand. She left then, alive, and I waited for her to die, but I am not sure she did.
Next, I was in a big room in the prison watching TV, and I was trying to keep my back to the wall so that nobody could sneak up on me.
After that, I was in a smaller room, seemingly sorta forgotten about, so I was more ambitious. I spoke to one of the warden type people, a woman, and offered to help her make money from the side. I asked her then, who owned the prison. She spoke in sentences, but the only word I remember, was that the missionaries had built it.
Then somehow, I was outside in a park, still being watched, but suddenly one of the assassins or fellow prisoners stumbled past me, incoherent and hurting.
Thinking of my own safety for a moment, but discarding it, I grabbed her and helped her into the back of a pickup of their fallen. Upon seeing this sacrifice of safety and act of love, I was tolerated by those who had caused me misery.
So, what on earth does all that mean?
I believe that I have escaped a prison of my own making (all those people and women versions of myself) based on the lies and history of those who have come before.
I think that the capitalistic system of South Dakota was built on the backs of those who were supposed to be doing Christ’s work and that now the Church must face a time of reckoning.
And my small part in that is to bravely speak and live my soul’s truth to the incoherent, drunken babbling of power that built itself upon the work of the Church of which I’m a tiny part.
And to not act like the capitalistic fool I have personified before now.
This is what God created me for. There’s probably more, but this is what I know now.
Danger abounds. My fake self and social constructs must die, if I am to save my soul from spiritual death. I must stay the path that allows me to do that.
What truths does your own soul speak?
It seems other creatives face something similar, as the videos below show. What about you?