The Norman Transcript

February 22, 2013

Hidden in the shadows

By Bruce Kessler
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Late at night as the wind howls outside my window and the moon casts bizarre images on the bedroom walls, I detect furtive movement out of the corner of my eye. Each time I try to focus on the movement, the image mockingly disappears into the shadows. I was a young boy at the time and I imagined something terrible was hidden in those shadows. Night terrors were what my dad called them but I thought differently.

One night my dad rented a room at a spooky looking hotel. We had traveled a long way from Houston, Texas, headed home to Rincon, Ga., so dad was exhausted and needed rest. All I wanted was to get to that wonderful place called home and more to the point I sensed or rather imagined that there was something creepy about the motel. I couldn’t come up with any legitimate reason why we shouldn’t spend the night. How could a young boy explain to his dad a fear that sounded crazy and far-fetched? I hid under the covers praying that my fears were unwarranted. However, the light emanating from the bathroom suggested otherwise. The light appeared strange; rather than being warm and natural, the tone had an unnatural quality purposely concealing a clandestine operation.

Sleep eluded me.

Soon after dad was fast asleep I sensed a presence next to my side of the bed. I dared not take a look. I waited. My heart pounded in my chest. For what seemed like an eternity, nothing happened then I felt ice-cold boney hands ease under my body. The clandestine operation revealed. I knew without a doubt that my life depended on crying out. With all my strength “Dad” then within seconds his loving arms were embracing me, protecting me and pulling me to safety.

The shadows retreated.

There are powerful events that we experience in childhood that affect us both mentally and spiritually. Divorce is one of those jarring events. I don’t believe parents are neither fully aware of the drama of divorce nor fully conscious of the war that rages within the minds of innocent children. Children are left with unanswered questions. What was once a home (even a fractured one) is instantly gone. We feel abandoned. We have difficulty expressing our bewilderment and pain.

You can be sure that whatever the cause for divorce, children are at risk.

Satan lurks to use these events as opportunities to create as much chaos as possible. This is one reason why Jesus warned, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy,” John 10:10. Satan wants to debase all that is good and innocent. There are many children of divorced parents who are hurting; a deep ache exists, a forever scar. Be mindful of the reality of this even in cases where the divorce was legitimate. Many are now adults who are still haunted by memories hidden in the shadows of the past.

One night long ago my dad embraced me and pulled me to safety. He was there for me. He was my hero. Yet, my dad did something even better. He taught me that God was the only one able to heal my broken heart, to give me peace over troubled waters, to give me power over fear and to empower me to live a life of meaning and purpose. Are you hurting? God will heal you. What is hidden in the shadows that have you in the grips of fear and anxiety? God is here for you. His grace will enable you to experience a victorious life.

“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler,” Psalm 91:4.

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