Last night I tucked my little boy Micah into bed, prayed over him and then walked out of his room and shut the door behind me. It was only minutes later when he came running out of the room with tears in his eyes saying, "Mommy, it's too dark!" I walked back in his room, shut the door behind me and sat on the bed with him to get a perspective of how dark the room really was. He held on to me tightly as we sat and stared into the empty, black space.
It was kind of creepy in there.
He has these sliding glass "mirror" doors that conceal his closet, but are directly across from his bed capturing our oddly-shaped reflections. He has an old-school TV and DVD player, that make weird cracking noises. Not to mention, his bedroom is on the farthest side of our house next to a giant tree with birds and crickets and other indistinguishable creatures lurking right outside the window.
I felt my own fear starting to rise. And then quickly summoned the name of Jesus and assured Micah that He is watching over us and we have nothing to fear. I turned on a hall light and that helped give him enough peace to fall asleep shortly after that.
I started to think about the fact that we are all born with an awareness of evil. I did not have to teach my son, Micah, to be afraid. If anything, we have avoided anything scary and have overly encouraged him to be brave. Yet, he still fears the dark.
And the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that we never really grow out of being afraid - but we grow in faith.
The evil in this world scares me. If I dwell on it too much, it actually torments my soul. I could lie awake all night thinking of all the evil things that could happen (and I have) but instead I have chosen to grow in faith. Grow in faith that there is a Creator who is working out evil for good. That even though evil entered this world, in the garden, and destroyed the perfect plan God had for His creation - it will one day be PERFECT again.
When I hear about tragedies, like the shooting that took place in Charleston last week, it is an opportunity for me to continue to feed the fear and sit in the dark or rest in faith and turn a light on.
Now I'll be honest, I've been sitting in the dark for a few days. Listening to the noise around me - blaming racism, blaming gun laws, blaming flags. Becoming more afraid by the hour.
But it's time to turn on the light. I'm here to say, this evil CAN be turned to good. And praise the Lord, it already is.
Did you read or hear about how the families of the Charleston shooting victims are offering forgiveness to the gunman? Now go back and find the source of that news report.
National news is talking about forgiveness. And not just any forgiveness, but the forgiveness that comes from God. Just read this article by USA today.
And you can call the gunman a racist... but don't tell me we live in a racist society when the church service on Sunday at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church looked like THIS:
Too often we sit in the dark and fear the evil. Dwelling on everything wrong with the world. And trust me, it's the easy thing to do. No one has to teach us to be afraid.
But all it takes is a perspective shift, to get up and turn on a light and rest in faith. And remember, God is working it all for good. We don't have to be afraid of the dark.