Amusement Park: Haunted House, Fourth Room – Floorless

Amusement Park: Haunted House, Fourth Room – Floorless

Amalia regretted seeing the next door approaching quickly. She had liked this room, with all its fun toys and marvelous possibilities. Yet she was curious about what the next room contained. Maybe more people. Or maybe another quiet time in the dark with Jesus. But when the door opened, she gasped. No way was she prepared for this!

“Stop! Stop!” she screamed.

“What’s wrong?” Jesus asked.

“We… the car…there’s no floor! We have to stop this car!”

“It will be okay. You’re with Me. You’re safe.”

“Noooooo! Stop the car!”

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Jesus reached for the emergency brake and stopped the car just as it passed the door frame. He turned to Amalia, and gently said, “Look at Me.”

But Amalia couldn’t take her eyes from what lay before them. Or rather what didn’t lay before them. The track was gone. The floor itself was gone. She could see the door on the other side of the room. But between her and the door, there was… nothing. Peeking over the side of the car, she looked down. Way down. The hole filled the entire room and grew increasingly dark the further down she looked until all she could see was blackness at the bottom. If there was a bottom.

“Amalia, look at Me.”

“Jesus, there’s no bottom! We can’t go this way. We have to go back!” Amalia couldn’t tear her eyes from the horror that seemed to be waiting for her.

“There is no going back. But you are safe. You are with Me.”

“Easy for You to say. You’re God. You can easily jump across this hole. Or fly across. You could even walk on thin air if You wanted to. But I’m just a human girl, and not even a very strong girl. There’s no way I could jump across to the other side. If I move even a few inches, I’m going to fall and die.” Amalia shuddered. “We have to go back. We can get out of this car and walk back if we have to.”

“You’re not going to fall. You’re in this car with Me. It will be okay. Let’s keep going.”

“This car is even heavier than I am. If we go forward, we’re going down. At least I will. I’m not a spirit like You. I can’t just disappear and reappear on the other side.” Amalia’s voice shook as she continued to stare down into the abyss.

“Amalia, didn’t you agree before we started this ride to stay with Me through the whole thing?”

“Yes, but…”

“And didn’t you say you trusted Me to know what’s best for you?”

“Yes, but…”  Amalia’s wide eyes darted around frantically. “But… there’s NO FLOOR!”

“AMALIA! LOOK AT ME!”

His strong commanding voice broke through her fear, and she turned to look at Him. He almost never used that voice with her, and, although she should have felt chastised, she didn’t. She actually felt reassured. He was in charge, not her.

“Good,” Jesus smiled warmly at her, while maintaining eye contact. “Will you trust Me?”

Amalia thought of all the times He had been there for her in the past. How faithful He had been regardless of her weaknesses and failures. And how nothing was impossible for Him. If He wanted her to cross this nothingness, then somehow He would make it happen. And if not… if He wanted her to die in this place.. then she would die. She had given herself to Him years ago so she didn’t belong to herself anymore anyway. He could do whatever He wanted with her. Nodding with her decision, she answered Him with a soft, resigned voice.

“Yes, Jesus. I will trust You. If you want me safely on the other side, then I will trust You to get me there. And if You want me to fall forever into this deep dark hole, then down I will go. Your will be done, not mine.”

Amalia closed her eyes as she felt the car lurch forward, her hand tightly clutching His hand, and prepared to fall.

A moment later a brightness penetrated Amalia’s closed eyes. Confused, she called out, “Jesus?”

“I’m here.”

“What’s happening? Am I dead?”

He laughed. “Well, actually, you are. But not like you’re thinking. Open your eyes.”

She did, and saw they were at the next door. Twisting around, she looked behind her at the floorless room they had just crossed. What? How? She turned back to Jesus. “How did we do that?”

“I told you to trust Me. So many times what you see and fear is so much worse than the reality. Where you saw empty space, I saw a firm path. Where you saw an inevitable drop into oblivion, I saw a marvelous opportunity to manifest My power.” He gave her hand a squeeze. “Thank you for trusting Me. Let’s keep going.”

Bear Attack (short story based on a dream I had)

“There’s a bear coming!”

I barely looked up from my sketch pad to the man that was careening towards us.

“Yeah, right,” I muttered. “Like there’re any bears around here.”

“A bear?” came high squeaky voice.

“Shh.” I shook my head at the small girl next to me. “It’s okay. Which color should we paint the flowers?”

The man was almost on us. “Run! Hide!”

“Aw, quit trying to scare us. We know there are no bears anywhere around here.”

“It’s a bear, I tell you!”

“I doubt it. Maybe you saw a bush. It is a bit windy today.” I studied my drawing.

“Believe what you want. I know what I saw.” He reached out and grabbed me.

“Ow, let go! You’re going to pull my arm right off!”

“Better your arm than your head if you’re still here when the bear gets here. And think of your little girl!”

The man’s eyes were wide open with eyebrows almost reaching his hairline, and his face was as white as the pages in my sketch pad.  Um… even if he didn’t see a bear, he definitely saw something. But grabbing me?

“Let go!”

“Suit yourself! Hide or don’t hide. Your choice,” he called over his shoulder as he ran towards the trees on the opposite side of the clearing from where he entered.

I looked around the campsite. A few tents scattered here and there, hiking gear set out on picnic tables, and a gazebo. If I wanted to hide from a bear, where would I go? I couldn’t just run into the woods after that man. My daughter wouldn’t be able to keep up, and I couldn’t carry her very far. The trees wouldn’t be any better. Even if I could get my daughter up one, bears can climb, too. The tents offered no protection should the bear follow its nose instead of its eyes. The only thing left was the gazebo – a wooden structure with three steps leading up…wait!

“Come on! I know where we can hide!”

I grabbed my daughter and ran to the gazebo. Yes, just what I hoped for!

“Quick, in there.” I pushed my daughter into the opening of the crawl space under the gazebo. Trying to hurry her, I backed in so I could watch for whatever the man had seen. And then I saw it.

Not only was it a bear, it was a very large grizzly bear. It was carrying a rifle and coming straight towards me. Dang, that bear moved fast! I grabbed a long branch that was lying nearby and held it out as if it were a spear. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.

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As I waited, I had time for two thoughts. Would the gazebo have really offered safety? Couldn’t the bear just reach right through the holes in the boards? And where did it get the rifle? Maybe from a ranger?

Just as the bear reached me, it slowly toppled until it lay still on the ground. Dead.

What? How?

Then the pieces came together – that bear must have taken the rifle from the ranger it attacked, but not before the ranger got a few rounds into the bear. The bear was so big; it took a while for the rest of the body to know it was dead.

Isn’t that just like our problems? We see disaster coming. Fear rises up in us and we run or hide without realizing that our Father has already shot the beast. Even if that beast continues towards us, it will topple over before it reaches us. We are safe.