I started watching this Netflix show — Lucifer (and this is where I lost all the Christians, but then again, I probably lost them a long time ago when I came out as gay), and God is really speaking to me through it.
He’s speaking things like we’re never beyond redemption, God radically loves His kids, He intervenes in spite of our decisions.
Just to name a few nuggets.
And why are we so perplexed by this? (Maybe it’s just me.)
When I mentioned I’m watching the show to my parents, you would have thought I just confessed I was gay and sexually active on Christmas Eve (different story for a different time), but we inject God (or rather open up a listening ear) into the “Devil” all the time.
When we take a deep breath before opening up a fortune cookie. When we close our eyes before scratching off the next lotto square. When Solomon, the next king of Israel, came from an adulterous affair.
Growing up, I was not allowed to watch anything with a witch because magic is evil (even though Aladdin had the genie, and that was totally okay… must have been because it had women magic in it, the worst kind). I wasn’t allowed to play DND or collect Pokémon cards. I wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music.
Keep the world out so that a good and clean heart can remain in (should be some plaque in a homeschool house).
But Jesus didn’t keep the dirty/unclean/unholy from Himself — He stepped into it, knowing His Father was in it all, knowing His presence would make it holy, including a show about Lucifer, including an app made for the purpose of hookups.
Grindr. If you’re looking for love, keep swiping, but if you’re looking for a good time with a random stranger in 2.5 minutes, look no further.
Grindr is a pretty rough place. For me, it pulls out the worst in me, and I’m not just talking about casual sex that includes glory holes, group play, and sex clubs. I’m talking about sexual consumerism. I’m talking about treating people like commodities. I’m talking about racism and ablism and agism and fat shaming. That app doesn’t just bring out terrible actions; it brings out the worst in people, including myself.
Could God show up there?
“Hey! I’m a Christian too!” The chat dumbfounded me.
Excuse me what? Ain’t nobody a beloved child of God up in this place. You got the wrong one. And where the hell did this guy even get this idea? He some witch? (My parents were right about Pokémon after all! Now the occult was after me!)
But it wasn’t witchcraft. It was my ADHD.
A few weeks back, I had this weird thought that the reason I behave so poorly on these apps is because it’s completely detached from my actual life. Not connected to my real life? No real consequences. I had isolated the issue.
So I decided to connect it… through Instagram… where I pour out my heart and soul about my existential dread, sexuality, and Jesus. I had been found.
The conversation gets going, and next thing I know, I’m having coffee with this guy in my kitchen, talking about Jesus.
And as we stand there in my kitchen, talking about Jesus, my heart starts to beat again. And hope starts to grow again. And as he talks, I dare to think, “Maybe God is in this. Maybe He’s not done with me yet. Maybe He caught me. Maybe this was the best of traps.”
And I will make you fishers of men…
I think He was in Grindr, luring me into hope. I think He’s in this show called Lucifer, captivating me with love. I think He’s in the last seven years that have felt like a total waste where I’ve doubted Him and ran from Him and got into an abusive relationship and slept with an abundance of strangers and tore down my faith and feel completely lost and without purpose.
I think He’s in it all.
When I was younger, I came to God for witchcraft. I felt powerless and asked Him into my heart strictly in a last-ditch effort to gain some semblance of control. And as the years have gone on, as life has tossed me this way and that, I keep finding God refusing to let go of me, and I’m so grateful…
My God is growing into something bigger. He’s breaking down my walls of limitation, and a horizon of possibilities stretches out before me because I’m daring to believe that He is also in the shadow.
Because this story is not about my faithfulness to Him; it’s continually, perpetually, eternally about His faithfulness to me.
Does this mean we can go off and ride out into the darkness?
Sure. We can. It’s an option. But it feels like Hell.
God doesn’t need to punish us for our darkness. Our darkness is punishment enough.
Instead, He hovers in the shadows, waiting for the tiniest crack of light, the smallest scent of faith, so He can show us He’s been there all along, making something beautiful.