What I Have Allowed In

It is getting close to Halloween. The sound of footsteps, as they crush and kick the fallen leaves, will soon fill the evening. The knocks on the door will echo throughout our home. I will soon gaze through the glass of my entryway, observing the eager youngsters who await the handouts. A partially-filled bag or pail will be presented, and the sweets will be dropped in. Likely, the delectable bits will be consumed within the late evening, or early on within the first day of November.

When I was a kid, maybe ten or eleven, my mother and I were living alone. My parents were fighting through an ongoing divorce/marriage. There were so many times within fifteen years where they would be together, apart, then together again. Being an only child, the instability made quite an impact in my personal life. I would find refuge in things that were not so healthy. Why my mother allowed it is still in question. I sometimes think she allowed harmful things to enter my world to replace my missing father. Her way of making-up for the things that he was not interested in showing me. He was so very distant, and when I did seek out something with him he told me to use my hands and do it myself. I always had to go to him, so he could turn me around and send me on my way. So, I would visit a movie store. There were many around my many homes.

My father had purchased a VCR instead of taking us to Florida one year. That gift was put to use, and the videos would by played like clockwork. I would visit the stores and rent the inexpensive tapes. I started to see all of these different videos. I noticed a video called “A Nightmare On Elm Street,” and watched it. That video sent me into a world of excitement. I was seriously fascinated by the horror. That one movie had me searching for more and more horror. I was intrigued by the bloody, grotesque, gruesome, nasty and violent flicks. Verily, enthralled. That life became a fantasy world that stuck with me for a few years. Spending my time alone, allowed to live out my fantasies through the darkly scenes on our television, and within my mind.

I don’t remember what stopped my fascination with the dark theatrical cinema, but I do remember the impact it had made. My love for it was compelling. It consumed me, and my young mind was being filled with candid content of the devil’s work.

The introduction of those years of horror movies hosted several more decades of the devil’s trickery. My life was filled with substance abuse, perverted acts, lewd humor, distasteful choices and a lifestyle that most would find preposterous.

It took many years of continuing in those ways to open my heart up to the Lord. My relationship with Him now corrects my sinful habits. I have a different perspective, and it comes directly from His Spirit who now dwells within. The old ways have been removed. Forgiven, and forgotten. His grace and peace has now replaced the harm of the world. He is now filling the void which I used to fill with the worlds’ absurdities. Although, I am still a huge mess, and those old ways still resonate. He is working me out, without a doubt. I know this.

I feel sorry for the kids who show up at my door, dressed in bloody, scary and ultimately, satanic dress. I am sad because their parents do not see the harm. They, as well as the children, do not recognize the works of the devil that they are allowing in. The “holiday” itself is not of God. But all I can do is love them, and pray for them. Sometimes I wonder if I should even buy candy, or answer the door?

What we allow in is surely making an impact. I am very thankful for His presence, and His counsel. He teaches me the things that I never could realize apart from Him. What we allow in is surely what we will give back, and give into. What do you fill your pail with? Do you, as a child of God, really weigh it out?

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