Scared Silly by Lorraine Triggs

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of the imagination. That's the signpost up ahead—your next stop, the Twilight Zone!

I hated, truly hated, every minute of every Twilight Zone episode my middle sister forced me to watch with her when we were children.

Ever the dutiful younger sister, I'd sit on the sofa in the living room, eyes down and focused on the not scarey book on my lap. The creepy Twilight Zone theme played in the background.

I'd have nightmares, especially about the one episode that scared me the most, "The Eye of the Beholder." Fortunately for me, our mother would intervene and chide my sister, "Stop scaring your sister silly."

Actually, my sisters and I and a few neighborhood friends figured out a way to make money off of scaring other neighborhood kids silly.

We'd rig up bedsheets to the backyard clothesline to create a narrow haunted hall, plug in extension cords that went from the house to the yard to our record player in order to play our "Haunted House Sound Effects" LP, peel grapes for eyeballs and cook (and cool) spaghetti for brains. We made blood to drink (red Kool Aid) and bones to crunch (skeleton cookies). And we charged 25 cents to go through our haunted hall, 50 cents if you wanted refreshments. 

But, what about when real life, or at least real-life fears and anxieties, are more scarey than even the scariest episode of the Twilight Zone? A prodigal son and nephews, the dark shadow of malignancy, an aging brain that doesn't function as well as it once did, too many sleepless nights in a row, fractured relationships—insecurities and anxieties on all fronts that assult us after midnight.

If we listen close enough, however, we will hear God's theme music in the background of life. It's the music of God's Word, speaking into our fears.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his pinions,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

You will not fear the terror of the night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

(Psalm 91:2–6)

And by God's amazing grace, the next time those midnight assaults attack me or that stray arrow of anxiety takes aim during the day, they don't have quite the same effect on my soul as they did the day before.