There is moisture in the air. Not rain, not snow, just moisture. The atmosphere is thick with it – fog, as far as the eye can see. It hides the shore, the sea, it all.
The silence of this place, this quiet moment is interrupted by a blast of the foghorn, a warning to all those who brave the afternoon sea. It notifies them, declaring; we are here, you may not see us, but we are here.
It’s incredible what can cause a memory to stir. With the blast of the horn, I’m transported back to a time when darkness still scared me, imaginary animals lived under my bed, and bad things lived in the closet. My fears were many, and my faith was still small. Again I am that little girl curled up in her bed, afraid to let her arm escape the fortress of her blanket for fear of what might be lurking in the dark.
It was my father’s voice that rang out like a foghorn in response to my tearful cries.
I saw them. Not in my closet or under the bed. I saw them falling from the sky like fiery drops of rain. If I close my eyes, even now, I can still see them. Inside each teardrop of fire was a face. Full of evil, ugly and grotesque.
I knew what these were; I knew what kingdom they belonged. I knew, but I had no idea what to do with what I knew.
“DADDY!” I cried out,
He must have known something was wrong, or my sense of time was way off because from the darkness, he replied, and in an instant, he was there – bringing the light. I mean, he literally turned on the lights and dispelled my arch-nemesis, the darkness – the keeper of all things scary.
My Dad sat on the corner of my bed, gently adjusting my covers to soothe this scared soul. “What did you see?” he asked. With great description, I spoke of what I saw.
“Make them go away, Daddy!”
He didn’t make them go away. He wasn’t even going to try. He sat there looking at me; I wonder if he took that moment to gauge my faith. Is she ready? Can she handle it?
“You can make them go away.” I might have laughed at his words had I not been racked with fear. Did I hear him correctly? Make them go away? Impossible!
But it wasn’t impossible – it was quite possible. The exact words escape me, but my dad spoke of a power I possessed. More accurately, the power HE, Jesus possessed. My father explained that Jesus has power over the darkness and dark places. With Him in my life, I no longer need to be afraid. Speak His name, call on Him, He can make them go away.
So I did, and He did. They went away.
In a fairytale, the story would end here. The brave young girl had slain the dragon, and all was well in the kingdom.
But this is no fairytale. Through the years, they came back, sometimes as they did before in drops of fiery rain, other times as dark voices penetrating my mind.
They came but not my father; he never did again.
He’d done it – his job, his duty. He’d trained me, given me the words to speak, the name to call on – the giver of light who is light Himself.
They came again and again, and at times even now they come…but so does Jesus.
And when I call on Him, they have to leave.
The blast of the foghorn pulls me from my memory, a smile on my face and moisture in the air.