The Bear At the Door (An Allegory Based on a Somewhat Real Event)

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The sounds coming from the door indicated that it was back. She hadn’t heard it the first time it had come, nor had she been prepared. Maybe she should have been since she had known it was around, but who would have thought it would be able to do what it did? But this time she was ready. Hopefully her extra precaution was adequate to thwart its plan, and it would soon leave.

She remembered when the bear had come just a few days ago. It’s ingenuity in gaining access to her half-basement had taken her by surprise. Bears are not supposed to be able to open closed doors but this one had. She had thought, as many people do, that keeping the door closed made her home safe from dangers on the outside. Finding evidence of the bear’s entry into her home proved that idea wrong. Only a flight of steps stood between the bear and the heart of her home. It could have made its way up those stairs and through that door, putting her entire family in danger. Or she could have gone down those stairs thinking everything was normal only to run into the bear face to face.

She had heard the stories. She knew the danger. It had only been by the grace of God that she hadn’t been in the basement when the bear opened that door. If she had had her head deep inside a washing machine, stretching to reach some wet clothing, or if she had been making noise tossing toys into a plastic bin in the back corner, she might not have seen or heard its approach. She could have been trapped and the result could have been deadly. She had to take a stronger stance. She had to find a way to secure that door.

So, she had made a plan. It was a simple plan, yet logical.  She locked it. The bear might know how to twist door handles, but there was no way it could get past the dead bolt.

The beast did not come back the next night, nor the night after that. Days turned into weeks, and still no sign of the bear. Was it coming back? Maybe she was safe. But just in case, she continued to lock the door every night.

Now, on this night, she was glad for her diligence. Again she hadn’t heard the stealthy approach of the bear, but she heard the door rattle. Quietly she went out onto the top floor balcony and looked down. The bear was there, pawing at the door handle and looking around. As she watched from this height, she noticed with surprise how small it appeared. It was almost like she could reach down, turn it around, and send it on its way. It didn’t look nearly as lethal as it would have if she had been standing in front of it. Keeping a safe distance from it while staying as high as possible was the safest way to avoid the danger it brought with it.

The thought occurred to her that, from where she stood, she might even be able to control the bear. She could shout at it and make it go away with nothing but her voice. But she knew it was better to ignore it than to start a battle she might not win. Sooner or later it would go away, but only after it had discovered that the way in of yesterday was no longer a way in today. She would still need to stay alert, always searching for and securing vulnerable areas, for she had no doubt that it or others like it would be back. But on this day, she could smile.

On this day, this bear was not coming in.


Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8

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