It was a quiet evening at our house one spring evening when a voice of terror rang out from my 3-year-old son’s room.
“Daaaaaad!” he shouted, begging me to come.
I walked toward his door to investigate, assuming he either wanted covering up or needed a drink of water.
On this night, though, he had something else on his mind.
“I’m scared of the monster,” he said, with an innocent look in his eyes and fear on his face.
For once, I was speechless. No one in our house watches scary movies or shows, and we don’t even read scary books.
The “scariest” story he had ever heard likely was David vs. Goliath.
But he had seen a few cartoonish toddler-friendly “monsters” on TV, and his mind was swirling with creepy thoughts.
Of course, he was and is not alone in being afraid of imaginary objects in the dark—and it’s not just kids who are like that.
We seem to be hard-wired to be uneasy at night. Why? It’s the fear of the unknown and the mysterious. During the day, we easily could open the curtain and see that a tree branch is scraping the window. But at night? We can’t see what’s outside—and we’re certainly not going outside to explore. And so our imagination runs wild, often chasing the most frightening thought we can conjure.
I could have told him that “there are no monsters,” but that’s only half true. The real-world “monsters”—Satan and his demons—wreak more havoc than any on-screen monster ever will.
As it turns out, what I did tell my son—at least, most of what I said—is what I tell myself when I’m afraid. It’s quite simple: Continue reading