Thursday, April 1, 2010


MONSTERS! The very word makes me shiver. Do all kids fear monsters? Do they lurk in children's closets everywhere or just in the creative imaginations of movie makers?
I only know the inner workings of my own childish brain and maybe a bit about our kids'. Firstborn Kimberly had two imaginary friends, neither of whom were monsters. She named them Ida and Puna. I don't even know if they were male or female. What I do know is they were short, blue and had red hair. She played with them often but when I tried to interact, "Well, good morning, Ida!" Kimberly dead-panned back, "That's Puna, Mama."

Another day I greeted Puna on the bed where Kimberly had just spoken to her. "She's not there, Mama. She's over here," pointing the opposite direction. I think they were in cahoots against me!
One day I asked about them and she placidly informed me, "They died."

Saddened, I probed, "Ohhhh Honey. How? What happened?"

Unfazed, "They got cancer."

Obviously Kimberly's imagination conjured up friendly sorts. My own childhood, however, was stalked by an alligator who lived under my bed and really interfered with my bladder schedule. In my head I knew he probably was not real, but my toes weren't taking any chances. When I could hold it no longer, I'd stand on my bed, step over to a table, crawl across my dresser and pick my way over the furniture obstacle course. Eventually my feet touched the bedroom floor but ever so briefly. I scurried out the door to the bathroom.

YES! Pee! Pee at last! And THAT's how you spell r-e-l-i-e-f!
By day, there was no alligator...even in my curly, little head.

Eventually someone marketed canned Monster Spray. Wise mothers of today rescue their tots at bedtime by fumigating rooms. Fears and monsters vanish. I never even told my mother about my alligator. I bet she'd have swatted him with a broom!

Monsters. God must know we fear them because he addressed them talking to Job.
God said to Job, “Behold now behemoth [the hippopotamus], which I made with thee” (Job 40:15)
“Canst thou draw out leviathan [the crocodile] with an hook? Or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?” (41:1)

I find it consoling that God chose my very monster to make a point. He knows my fears, my limitations battling problems that rage in life.

Today our monsters come in different forms and some are very real. God knew we'd need more help than aerosol cans or brooms. So through Job, He told us what to do when we come up against things we can't handle.

Job answered, “My God is all-powerful. He can do all things. And no purpose (plan) of his can ever be thwarted." (Job 42:1-2)

I know I can’t stand up against the hippo or the crocodile in my life. But that doesn’t matter. I know God can. When it's beyond my strength, my part is to simply stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.

So to sum it all up, what can I learn from my youth to now?

* Some monsters are real and some are not.

* I can't over-power or control Satan's attacks or evil in the world.

* But I know Someone Who can and choose to rely on His plan and timing.

* When I'm the dark and alone, my monsters seem worse.

* In the Light, telling Someone, I can simply stand in Him. The battle belongs to the Lord.

* I know Who wins in the end.

Maybe Kimberly knew something back then that I'm just now getting. It's not really cancer or even that last enemy, death, that wins in the end. Not for those in Christ. He conquered it better than any repellant or broom!

"O death where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

He is risen, He is risen indeed!

Praising our risen Conqueror!

After writing this blog, I received a startling letter and pictures of a killer hippo. I'll share it with you in a few days.


  1. As much as we fought growing up as kids, I never thought of you as being my monster under my bed; does that make your day or what? I do very much remember Bert tell me scary ghost stories and some monster coming up the stairs in our house (and we didn't even have stairs in our house!): "I'm on the first step... I'm on the second step...." Finally, Bert would grab my arm and scream, "Gotcha!" That usually took care of my nighttime bladder problems as a little boy.

  2. No one could tell ghost stories like our big brother, huh? I remember him spinning one at Grandma Tippett's one night, all of us piled in the bed. The windows were open to a summer breeze, when we suddenly heard the moan of a monster outside, timed to his yarn. "MOOOOOOOO..." The cattle were lowing but it was not a silent night!

  3. Big brother, Bert, emailed me:

    Kathy, I didn't know about the alligator under your bed. You learn something new all the time.