Is Anyone Out There?

By Keith Miller | March 2, 2009

What did Jesus say God would give us to overcome our solitary fears?

I remember clearly a particular day when I was four that marked the beginning of my own conscious search for the answer to that question.Happy warfare with small, bright lead soldiers on an ancient oriental rug, worn off in spots by a thousand such battles—and hundreds of other walking steps, marching through my parents’upstairs bedroom to bed. A battered tablespoon, an old brass tray—the gong to start and end each tiny epic struggle.

Then awareness!—total—I was all alone.My mother out back hanging up the wash. Then the hot-faced, wide-eyed, awful fear and dread!

“IT” was coming out of hiding in the closet, attic, basement, God only knew its secret lairs!My heart beat so loudly I knew it could hear and come to devour me, or worse, carry me away—like some winged older brother to torture and torment me forever! Silence! The grandfather clock ticked in the hall to disguise the monster’s tiny clawed feet and measured hissing breath.

In terror I began to sing and beat the gong—“Make noise and sound courageous—to scare away the boogie man,” my inner voices screamed! Maybe it would not get me if I could just sound strong. (So that’s where it started.)
Through crystalline rivers of tears—as I sang at the top of my voice—I could almost see the shadows of the fangs and beak of the monster projected in the designs of the flowered wallpaper in front of me—for an eternity of hour-long seconds. Then the distant “bang”—the back screen door slamming—the signal that my cavalry was going to charge over the hillside against the dragon.

“MU—THER!”—my own thin voice screaming! I knew the monster heard me too, so I beat the gong twice harder and heard running footsteps on the stair. “Dear God, let it be my mother!”

Then the door burst open!

It was she!

The brave gong-beater disappeared, and a terrified, sobbing four-year-old ran forth and buried his tear-drenched face into the cool ruffled cotton apron.

My mother—JOAN OF ARC—bigger somehow than my dragon/beast, sent it scurrying back into its dark lair, as she pressed me to her bosom. And let me sob.

As I cried, once more dread bubbled up from inside and filled me with a new terror.What if MOTHER died? Who would save me then?

Or would I only find a bigger spoon and gong—and a way to sing a louder song?

Lord, thank you that my fear drove me to try to find security in all kinds of ways…until I was finally able to surrender my pride enough to cry out to you—and to discover you’ve been in here all the time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.” John 14:18 The Message

Topics: Christian Living, Weekly Devotional | Comments Off on Is Anyone Out There?

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