Scare Tag

The last night, because my kids requested it, we played scare tag.

We shut off all the lights in the house after dark.  All of them. Then we separated.

There are no real rules to the game, we just turn off all lights and try to scare each other.  Everyone is “it”.

The boys stuck together, but Randall and I hid in the shadows around the house.  The boys came looking for us, knowing that around any corner, Randall or I would jump out with a loud Boo and scare them half to death.

I have to admit, the game made me nervous.  The first time I played, I picked a spot flooded by the light of the street lamp outside, sat, and waited for the scarers to come for me.  But last night, as I played again, I got the hang of it.  My eyes adjusted to the dark quickly and I was able to move about the house stealthily.

I’ve questioned how fear and parenting go together before, but I think character can be shaped from these types of experiences.  I’m astonished at how brave my sons are.  Isaac uses the excuse that he’s afraid of the dark so we’ll keep the hall light on while he’s trying to sleep.  The truth behind that is, that he wants to read in bed.  We know now, he’s not at all afraid of the dark.  I saw him time after time grabbing Asher’s hand and saying, “Let’s be brave,” as they’d head out in search of their silent father.

I think the most powerful thing I noticed in this game is how my boys trust their parents.  Yes, Mom and Dad will jump out at me, yes, they will make a loud noise that will startle me.  No, that is not something to fear.

Can that be translated to our lives?  Do we have a loving father that will make any scary situation okay?  In a time when christians were being killed and jailed, Paul, in Hebrews 13 says:

For God has said,

     “I will never fail you.
         I will never abandon you.”

     So we can say with confidence,

     “The Lord is my helper,
         so I will have no fear.
         What can mere people do to me?”

Yes, we may be startled in life. God does not promise to keep us away from all harm, but do we need to be afraid?  We can put our trust in the safety of our Father.

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