Does It Seem That Children Are Born With a Fear of the Dark?
Fear of the dark comes natural to mankind. When the clouds are dark and there seems no hope, that is when you learn to cry out your fear to God. Perhaps this fear of darkness relates to childhood, a time when parents vanish and the child is for a spell left alone to face the beginnings of life and confusion and personal doubts. Or maybe it links to the spiritual concepts of light versus dark, day versus night, good versus evil. Perhaps it is merely a God given self-defense mechanism. Who is to say why we fear the dark: Certainly not I?
Hi. Mike Harrington here. Writer, web designer, member of Sloan Lake Community Church, and born again child of God. I just wanted to get the chat rolling by sharing one of my short stories that reflect basic human growth. The following story relates a learning period within my early parenting years. It tells, perhaps from the viewpoint of my daughter, the infant in this tale. It taught me something about the natural fear of the dark, of loneliness and of our deep need for someone to trust. Let me know if you enjoy it.
I don’t know that word, but I must communicate.
I am afraid of the dark. I don’t know that word “afraid” either, but the story will go on as though I am literate. I am afraid of the dark, and the night, and of being alone.
They leave me in a cage that has no top. The cage is in their room. I know because I hear their breathing. I smell their body soap. They are near, yet far away. Are they angry with me?
A dim sheen of light seeps in through a nearby window, but it only makes the shadows spooky. There is comfort beneath me, and warmth around me. But I am alone, and the light is far from being enough. I cry out my fear.
It is the big one that comes to me, the one they call “da”. His hands are huge, larger even than my chest. When he lifts my arm and holds out my hand to touch it, I stop crying. I smile.
“Ooowwww.” It hurts. Sometimes he hits my hand. I don’t know why. It is a strange manner of touching. Now he shakes me, and roars in the thunder tone. I am very quiet. At least he is near. I am no longer alone in the dark.
But he won’t stay. He never does. Before leaving, his thunder softens. He tucks the covers back around my sides and neck.
I am afraid of the dark. I don’t want to be alone. I cry out my fear.
When he returns, his thunder is awesome. He no longer touches my hand. But he pulls the cover back and roles me over. It is a joy to feel his presence.
He roars and makes mighty sounds as he suddenly pounds his big hands against my backside. He strikes hard. It jars my teeth, shakes my insides. Perhaps he thinks the diaper keeps me from feeling his touch. I go quiet and remain so. He scares me, so big, so loud. But at least I am not alone.
But it doesn’t last. Before I can find sleep, he is gone.
My side is hurting. Something is bruised. I don’t know what’s wrong. And I’m still afraid. I need someone to touch me, comfort me. I cry out my fear.
The cage is moving. I feel it, but I can also see the shadows on the ceiling shifting. Ah. There. His hand is on the bars. I sense that I am closer to where he sleeps.
The hand comes through between the bars. With one finger, he touches my cheek. Oh, it feels so good. I smile. Then his hand goes still, not moving and touching and striking, but rather resting near me on the mattress. The fear fades. The comfort comes. I begin to drift off into sleep.
How did he come to understand my need?
Perhaps you too need someone near whom you can trust. It’s good to have a mate, a parent or even a child on whom to sometimes lean for comfort. But flesh and blood sometimes fails. Sometimes, during the depths of your fear of the dark no flesh can come near to offer your comfort. No one can hear as you cry out your fear.
Seek you to know Jesus Christ. He is God. He is Spirit. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Cry out your fear to the only one who will never fail.
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