By Bev Davis
Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Oct. 29, 2009. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.
At dusk one evening last week, I had finished some yard work and was walking toward my house. The crunch of dried leaves beneath my feet halted abruptly when I froze in place. A small, weird form was making its way across a field too close for comfort.
I’ve seen my share of critters, but nothing shaped like this pudgy dark mass lumbering slowly as if carrying a heavy burden. The body had no distinct shape, but was divided into rounded segments, almost like those of a giant caterpillar — with fewer legs.
Two red lights glared my way from a position slightly forward and above three other sets of smaller red lights. For a few moments I was convinced I was up close and personal with some type of earthbound UFO.
With the hair rising on the back of my neck and a tingle in my spine, I swallowed hard.
The dusk-to-dawn light flickered on, and the bulky whatever-it-was stopped moving. Now, I was more frightened. The red lights had dimmed, but now I saw an unsettling pattern of black and white splotches.
By the time the form moved again, my brain had unraveled the strange configuration, and I laughed out loud. The curious specter turned out to be a mother opossum making her slow trek across the field with three babies wrapped around her. Yes, I felt stupid, but it was still a scary sight, even when I knew what it was.
Scary things are common this time of year. Dark shadows, familiar things taking on unfamiliar shapes and wind whipping against the side of the house make me wish I’d never seen a scary movie or read a Stephen King novel.
However, real things have always scared me more than superstitions and legends about headless horsemen.
It scares me to think of how many people I know who are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. I’m frightened by the rising number of people who’ve turned to stealing anything they can to support their addictions. It scares me to talk with other believers who’ve lost their moral convictions.
It scares me to see people cast away their faith in exchange for cheap substitutes.
Arrogance, pride, hateful attitudes and prejudice scare me most, because these mindsets lead to the escalating tide of fear, doubt and idle speculation sweeping across our nation.
This is not the time to lose faith or “cast away our confidence.” God’s truth remains as solid as ever. His promises never fail, and He is never scared by scary things.
His steadfast love can carry us through any crisis, provide for us in feast or famine, deliver us from evil and will guide us when all other resources fail.
What scares me most is that so many people still don’t believe that.