I’m a scaredy cat.
There, now you know.
I don’t like scary movies and I don’t like haunted houses. I usually get nightmares from watching jumpy movies or horror movies. And it doesn’t have to be a slasher film. My wife and I watched The Walking Dead a few weeks ago, which is an incredible show, but it prompted recurring dreams. All you need to know is that my house is not zombie proof (I’ll make sure to add “zombie proof house” to my to-do list). Simply put, I just can’t watch that stuff!
So this Halloween season, I decided to man-up and visit the Whaley House in San Diego with my family. For those of you who might not be on the paranormal activity email list, the Whaley House has been dubbed as the most haunted house in America because of the amount of ghosts that haunt the property. As we were walking around the premise in the guided tour, the docent was recounting places where ghosts would frequent. Luckily, these ghosts were friendly. Or so they say…
As I was walking through there, I kept thinking how should I respond to this as a Christian? Are there such things as ghosts? Are they figments of people’s imaginations, or are they something worse than Casper? I do believe that there is a world beyond the physical, that there is a battle going on behind the scenes. I don’t quite know what that exactly looks like, what a heavenly and demonic duel might be like. I picture it somewhat like the movie 300 though, I can just imagine Michael shouting, “We are angels!”
While there might be something more than the physical realm, I honestly do not know what transpires when people report objects moving or mysterious noises occurring when nobody is in the room (like a reported crying baby sound in a vacant house in Colonial Williamsburg). While I cannot tell you what lies behind the spooky sounds and eerie feelings, what I can tell you is that Jesus is Lord over the nonsense that might frighten us. Greater is He than those ghosts. Greater is He than any spook, so take courage.
Yes, I am a scaredy cat. But I know that upon the rock of Christ, the Church- the community of the redeemed– was built. And the good news is that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
My dear friends, know that if you are in Christ, you are secure. As Paul wrote to the Roman church, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I am constantly reminded in reading through the Book of Isaiah that I must never fully trust in humanity for salvation. If I chose to trust in humanity completely, I would simply be made the fool. It’s not because I believe humans cannot do anything good. It is because humans will never fully be faithful. Humans will always disappoint.
Think about it.
Has anyone ever fully lived up to your expectations? Even the people whom I love the most have failed me. Some way or another, they will fail in promises made, protection offered, and love given. I hate to be brutally blunt, but people will let us down. I have let others down. Our favorite political candidates and religious leaders will let us down.
The prophet Isaiah called the people of Israel back to their roots, imploring them to remember that it was the gracious Lord of all who cared for them and protected them. It was the covenant-keeping God who would protect and guard them, even when things looked most dark. It was the Lord, giver of life who guarded them, if only they would have chosen to listen to Him.
If only I would heed this life-giving call and allow myself to fully embrace this reality. God wants to preserve me and I need be rooted in this promise. God is faithful, even when I am faithless. He is there, and He will never forsake you.