Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Scare That Almost Scarred Me!

“It is a 1986 horror novel by American author Stephen King. The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by the eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. "It" primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes that eventually became King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, and the ugliness lurking behind a façade of traditional small-town values. Publishers Weekly listed It as the best-selling book in the United States in 1986.” (Wikipedia)

I did not read the book.

The film was released in 1990. I saw the film. I wish I hadn’t.

Does anyone still feel the chill and fear that movie provoked? I do.

Over this past summer my granddaughters and I were going through old movies and in the very back of the cabinet was the movie It. I literally shivered.

“Let’s watch it!” One of my granddaughters squealed.

“No!” Cried another one.

I ended the discussion quickly. There would be no viewing of It.

            In 1990 when I saw that film I was well into adulthood with children 18, 15, and 10 years old. Why did that film bother me so badly?

As a child I loved circuses. My grandparents often took me to Calloway Gardens in Georgia to see the jugglers, flying trapeze artists, and the clowns. I remember seeing old black and white movies depicting the traveling circuses like Barnum and Bailey or Ringling Brothers. It was magic, courage, and exhilaration. But King distorted that for me.

I had none of those euphoric feelings when I saw the movie It. I was fearful.

It was one of my worst nightmares. Instead of snippets of dream-remembered horror, the movie slashed with its full-blown color!

            Reflecting back on my horror of the movie, I tied to remember what was going on in my life or past that could have stimulated such anxiety. Stephen King achieved exactly what he had set out to do – dredge up all the fears and phobias of the audience and his readers. And 25 years after the film’s release, it still had its clutch on me.


To top it off, 3 weeks ago we were traveling to a funeral up in PA and got behind this truck. When I saw the image, I shivered. Another reminder.

            Am I scarred from the gruesome image of that clown? I immediately felt a chill cross my shoulders. Twenty-five years ago it might have taken me into a tailspin, dredging up other things in my life that weren’t going well. Today, I shiver. Then, I name my demon, whether it’s fear, apprehension, anxiety, anger, hurt, etc., and I do not let it take hold of me.

            Conquering these types of conflict is imperative. We have to stave them off instantly. The best ways to do this is to:

            1. Name the fear. Call out the demon. Ask yourself what happened to dredge up the feelings? How does it make me feel?  Name the emotion.

            2. Take it to God. God loves you. You are His precious child. Find a scripture to hang onto and repeat it like a mantra until you get control of your feelings. Mine is 2 Chronicles 20:12 “. . . Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. He cast all fear aside and suffered on the cross for us. How can I not keep my eyes on Him ?  He who has been through it all will understand.

            3. Reject the fear. It can consume you. “Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it fear.” Ask family and friends to pray over you. Prayer is powerful. Standing up to fear is also powerful and liberating. It’s not easy; it has to be intentional. “But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name: you are mine”.

            4. Distract your focus. Keep your focus off your fear, and on the One who will ease the discomfort of your situation. Isaiah 41:10 states, “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Fear comes from external sources. Even a clown. The art of mastering it requires self-control, one of the Fruits of the Spirit. It is purposeful and intentional.

Trust me, fear cannot survive in the presence of the Almighty God. Call it out! Rebuke Satan!
Give it all to Him. Blessings to you always!  


  1. The bookcover alone is enough to give one nightmares! It's sad to me that he took a cute character that's supposed to bring laughter & fun to young & old and turn it into people's nitemares! I have drawn/watercolored hundreds of children's names in my "Klowns by Kathy" to bring smiles on their faces. And fm time to time I do hear, "my child is terrified of clowns." Sadly people make big $$ terrifying young & old 😞! The good news is JESUS is so much bigger than all that and He will crush & destroy our fears, but only IF we let Him!

  2. I'm currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert's (Eat, Pray, Love) "Big Magic." She has an interesting way of viewing the fear that creeps into her creativity and other areas of her life. Elizabeth reminds her readers that fear is a necessary primal response designed to keep us alive. We need fear for basic survival: "Don't go in there, it's not safe," or "That person is unkind. I should stay away," or "I shouldn't eat that food. It looks spoiled and I could get sick." She pictures fear as a passenger in the car that transports her through life. Fear is allowed to come along--for life-saving purposes only. It's not allowed to look at the map or plan the route. Fear is not welcome to ride shotgun, or even touch the radio. Fear is to remain in the backseat. Elizabeth's illustration offered a fresh perspective. (P.S. I've ALWAYS thought circus clowns creepy! ;-)