This experience occurred prior to the time that I started grade school. My sister Kathy and I were playing in our front yard. Not far away, a number of older neighborhood boys were just hanging out on our next door neighbor’s lawn. I guess the boys became bored and decided to have some fun with us by taking advantage of our youth and inexperience. They achieved this by telling us scary stories about the bogeyman. I did not buy into any of their stories and defiantly told them that there was no such thing as a bogeyman.
They countered with personal assurances that they were witnesses to each of the stories they told. When that proved to be unconvincing, they provided more stories that were even scarier than the first ones. I continued my defiance by simply restating my assertion that there was no such thing as a bogeyman. Seemingly unimpressed, these boys called my bluff. They told me that the bogeyman was hiding between two of the houses near the end of the block. They assured me that if I had the courage to go down and take a look for myself, I would find the bogeyman waiting there for me. I was very scared; after all, perhaps they were right. I resisted their challenge at first, but after they taunted me with words like, chicken and fraidy cat, and used a few other words I did not understand at the time, I decided to go and look for myself.
Being quite frightened, I took precautionary tactics. I thought that if there was a bogeyman between the houses that he must be hiding so that he could capture me if I got close enough. So, I formulated a plan in my head where I would run across the street on a diagonal in order to get a view from a safe distance on the other side of the street. I knew that I had to start immediately so that the bogeyman, if it existed, would not have any time to prepare for my arrival and capture me. So, without any hesitation I bolted out into the street running with my head down as fast as I could. Much to my surprise, I could hear my sister running right behind me. When I got to the targeted position where I could see between the houses from across the street, I stopped and quickly turned for a look. To my horror there it was, right where the neighbor boys said. It was hiding between the houses, hunched over because it was taller than the peaks of the roofs. It was waiting for unsuspecting kids like my sister and I to come by so that it could pounce and devour them. Its general shape was very much like the dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex. It just stood there stooped over between the building looking at me in obvious anger and disgust. It was apparently unwilling to come out from between the houses to get us.
I lost all control and started screaming in horror. I was flailing my arms in the air and running back across the street as fast as my legs would carry me. I could hear my sister screaming as she followed behind me. Since I ran with reckless abandon, keeping my head down, I was shocked at what I found when we finally arrived back to our starting point. The boys who induced us into this adventure were literally lying on their backs on the ground as they were laughing so hard that they could no longer stand. There they lay, holding their aching stomachs in pain due to the extended laughter.
My first reaction was that they believed their deception had worked. But, I also thought that they did not know what I knew—that there was a devil just down the block and that it was waiting for innocent kids like me. What they had projected in apparent jest, turned out to be the truth.
I did not tell this story to anyone for almost fifty years. How could I? People would think that I was nuts. In fact, it never would have been told if it was an isolated event, but it was not an isolated event, as you will soon find out. Rather, it was a warning of the truth that the devil is real and is out to destroy us and the purpose for which God created us.
This experience turned out to be a warning from God. A warning that there was an evil monster out there that sought my life. A warning that spiritual warfare was coming my way weather I was ready or not. In retrospect, I should have heeded this warning but I did not, and had to suffer the horrifying consequences. I will tell you about each of these experiences in subsequent postings.
However, please do not make the same mistake I did by believing the evil reality of the devil’s existence is simply a myth. Be careful of what you believe, and be cautious about the choices that you make because your life hangs in the balance. Seek God and follow his guiding.
May God’s blessings be upon you!