When we were kids, us siblings decided to sleep overnight in the huge haymow of the barn. Sleep in the hay! yea! (insert picture of actual barn)
A big yard light gave off enough light through the top of the flopped open barn door to see enough, and enough dark to sleep. Maybe. The 12 foot wide barn door hung down on hinges attached to the lower header. It was big enough to climb up and sit on. One could view the whole farm yard from there. You can see the door in the picture between the two top windows.
Rumors of cougar sightings didn’t daunt us at all. We were safe in the barn, or so we thought.
In the middle of the night we heard some very loud scratching on the side of the barn. No one moved. We quit breathing as the shadow of a monster cat walked across the back wall of the haymow. The shadow was 12 feet tall and his tail twitched slowly back and forth as if deciding what to do.
I’ll speak for myself here as my siblings probably have various traumatic memories. Panic was my first temptation. A nano-second later my second thought was to blame my siblings for going along with the idea of sleeping in the middle of the haymow in very confined sleeping bags. Cougar bait, that’s what we were.
My third thought was to turn around and look that cat in the eye. If we were going to be eaten, I wanted to look that cat in the eye. Well, um, I kinda wanted to look that cat in the eye (with one eye?)
It was one of the barn cats on a leisurely stroll across the big door header highlighted by the yard light. It cast a huge scary shadow on the back wall. It was probably the same cat that had somehow gotten into the house (cats not allowed in house on the farm) and in the middle of the night had slowly walked down all the piano keys. That time I figured it was the death angel playing a hair raising music back drop for what he was about to do with one of us, probably me. (ya, haywire imagination here).
“Smokey” someone muttered
Now, as down through all of life, My siblings and I have faced our fears. There is always a fear, always scary shadows with more to come as we log in more time and experiences in this life.
I have learned and relearned to face the fear and quit looking at the shadow.
The shadow was filled with a million imaginations while smokey strolled the doorway.
My siblings and I recently lost Mom, then Dad. Our parents looked cancer in the eye. They strolled, hobbled and passed through the valley of death. They both knew personally the Lord as their Shepherd. They both displayed a peace that passes all understanding to the rest of us. They both walked through the doorway of death into eternal light while we as siblings could only see the shadow.
Hey, we have scary shadows being cast everywhere. True peace is only found in Jesus Christ. In his words (which I have experienced in my short 64 years)
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
The oft recited Psalm 23 was a favorite of both dad and mom. (The valley of the shadow of death did not scare them)
They lived by Philippians 4:6-8 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.…