Friday, October 7, 2011

The Reality of Evil

With Halloween approaching, October is a good month to remember that evil truly exists. I think one of the most frightening things I ever read can be found in a book, titled Crying Wind by Crying Wind (yes, that’s her name). It’s the true story of a Native American (Kickapoo) girl’s journey from darkness into light during the mid-1960s and early 1970s. 

In it, Crying Wind describes an unforgettable time when she was about ten years old. She wrote: 

"I knew that there must be dark, shadowy things, bad things that Grandmother and my uncles talked about when I was supposed to be asleep, but I didn’t know what they were. Even though I was curious, I wasn't sure I really wanted to know everything that went on around the reservation."

Crying Wind goes on to say that a man came to the door one night. He'd been newly wed, but his wife died of pneumonia. So he had gone to the medicine man on the reservation and was told he could raise his wife from the dead if he did the following: 1) Took off his clothes and slathered his body with mud; 2) Waited for the full moon to rise; 3) Went to his wife's grave and covered it with a coyote skin.

The man did this and reported that in the third hour of his waiting, the ground began to shake and something ugly and horrible rose from out of his wife's grave "so terrifying that his mind couldn't grasp it." He knew it wasn't the spirit of his late wife and sensed the spirit was despicably evil. The man went screaming off into the night, the evil spirit right on his heels. He went from house to house, seeking help, but found no escape.

The story continues:

“What’s happening, Shima Sani (Grandmother)?” I whispered as I watched the man disappear.

“He shouldn't have done that,” she said quietly and shut and bolted the door.

*     *     *
Conjuring up spirits? Frightening stuff!

But, all right, I'll admit it. I'm a big honkin' chicken. It's hard for me to enjoy Christian thrillers without feeling the hairs on my neck stand up and my limbs go numb from fright. I, personally, don't enjoy being scared out of my mind.

But the plain truth is the spirit world is alive -- and about half the authors on this blog write about that very subject! Native Americans especially, I think, are aware of this fact. Crying Wind’s journey ended with her conversion to Christianity and her desire became to share God’s plan of salvation with others. She is featured on Indian Life Ministries web page.Click here to find out more.

This month when store aisles are lined with ghosts and ghouls and enough candy to make my blood sugar soar to the stars, my big honkin' chicken heart can take comfort in the words of my Savior. Christ said, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” (Luke 10:20 NASV) 

So what's the scariest thing you've ever read in a book -- or, for the Christian horror and thriller authors, written in a book? How did that impact your life?


Greg Mitchell said...

Wow, Andrea, now you're speaking my language! That was a cool story! (I mean, not "cool" in the sense that the guy was playing with dark forces he ought not to be playing with, but "cool" from a scary story point of view...ah you know what I mean :p).

I've said it before, I don't like being scared--which is why I write horror stories. It's a release from real world fears and, I guess if you wanna get psychological about it, it's a way for me to take control over my fear. So I don't know if I've written anything that well and truly scared me because I'm in total control the whole time. I think fear--at least for me, if not for everyone--originates from my lack of control. Which is why fear is the opposite of faith. We've got to turn that control over to Christ in our lives and take comfort and security in His power.

I like scaring readers, because it gives them a jolt. It reminds them they're alive and it puts them in a scary situation, then gives them the power to conquer it (by turning the page, and finishing the story). I think it can be a strengthening experience. It's funny because I've had people come up and tell me how scary the book was--and they're almost always smiling and laughing when they say it! It's a cathartic experience, getting the willies scared out of you, but living to tell the tale.

Great post! I love me some Halloween!

Bruce Hennigan said...

Andrea, the reality of evil is the EXACT reason I am writing my book series. My new book, out this week by the way (And Greg has a killer interview with me -- he did such a great job-- on his blog) my goal is to illustrate the reality of evil. I am an apologist as well as a novelist, and my goal is to bring the truth of the reality of evil and demons and angels and spiritual warfare to the marketplace. Of course, I have excellent company! Three scariest books I've read in the last year are Mike Duran's "The Resurrection" where the final scene is absolutely chilling. Greg Mitchell's "The Strange Man" and I could NOT sleep in my hotel room the day I finished this book. I kept seeing those eyes in the shadows at the corner of my room! And Mike Dellosso's "Darkness Follows". What a ride that one was! It really freaked me out!
So, I feel like I'm in really good company and my book, in comparison to my fellow author's books isn't quite as scary, but that's okay. It is about the reality of evil!

Deb Moss said...

Ever since I was a young girl, I have loved scary books. I'm not into blood and gore, but books that have great drama to hook you in and keep you on the edge of your seat. As a teen, I wasn't so particular as to the type of scary stories I read, and looking back now, I can see the negative impact they had on me growing up. I have been raised in the church and know that evil and its darkness are real, and there is a bettle going on between good and evil, light and dark. Even though now that I'm older and my taste is somewhat tamer, I am so glad that there is Christian fiction that shows the reality of evil, but that God's light and truth triumph. And in battles in my life--both physical and spiritual--this truth has stood firm. God wins!