Poetry

The Devil Loves a Gimmick

This sweet, old woman I revered

came into the Sunday school classroom

when I was a kid

in a leather jacket

and with a cigarette in hand.

“This is what the devil does,”

she taught, and jokingly attempted to give us

those nicotine smokestacks

for added effect.

“This is what the devil does,”

she said, parading around the small room

with a pair of sunglasses

she produced from her pocket.

We laughed. It was funny at the time.

It was not what we needed to hear.

It was not what the Bible taught.

The wolf in sheep’s clothing was not decked out

with a leather jacket and cigarette in hand–

we need not have looked far to find that

(and we could have asked how

one sweet old woman whom

we revered

conveniently had all of it anyway.)

No,

the sheep’s clothing was innocent looking,

tempting Eve in the Garden with a question,

“Did God truly say?”, or

tempting God in the flesh,

quoting the Old Testament scriptures

out of context.

The devil doesn’t want to hide out

away from church buildings–

he wants to inhabit them,

he wants confusion,

he wants to use the word of God

to lead astray

while the people chant “Lord, Lord!”

and have no idea

what they’re saying.

The devil is not wearing a leather jacket

with a cigarette in hand–

the devil often wears a cross around his neck

and teaches anything and everything

except the message of it.

The Spirit teaches truth

but the devil loves a gimmick.

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8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11

4 thoughts on “The Devil Loves a Gimmick

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