The Fun House Of Mirrors

sites at the local fair ground - I never liked to funhouse.  But if I was with friends I went in them and rode rides anyway.  Nana

“Step right up, come on in, only a dollar” shouted the carny. He looked right at me and my friends. “Come on in boys, this will change your life” and he winked at me. I don’t know but my gut was telling me something was wrong. My friends wanted to go in and since I didn’t want to be left out, I went in with them.

It wasn’t much at first. A conveyor belt going the opposite direction. Oooh, scary right? We made a tight turn to the right and the floor started shaking. Everyone started to laugh but the feeling inside me was getting worse. It was then the lights went out. We started reaching out, touching each other to make sure we were all still there. We slowly inched forward and hit a wall, promptly piling into each other.  Then the lights came on and that was when the fun began.

Image result for carnival fun house mirrors

We were looking at ourselves, all four versions of each of us. We looked at each other like what the crap, a couple of my friends used some other choice words. In one mirror there was me, looking as normal as I am now, if you can call that normal. In the second mirror I was a hideous monster. What the heck? The third mirror I was a baseball player, uniform, glove and all. How could this be? I only was wearing the clothes I came in with. The fourth mirror showed me as an old, decrepit old man, all by myself. It was then we realized there was no exit. We did the only thing we could and started to push on the mirrors. The only one that moved was the second one. We all looked at each other and kind of shrugged and took a step through. But we weren’t all together on the other side.

There I was, the hideous monster. I pulled on my skin and clothes to get them to come off but they were me and I was them. It was then I noticed a small light in the distance. I walked toward it and saw it was a cell phone. It had a note on it. PRESS PLAY. What I saw disgusted me and I wish I didn’t have to tell you about it, but I do. It was 15 second clips of my life. There was me eight years old pushing the other kids down on the playground. There was me twelve years old stealing a cassette from the local music store. There was me sixteen years old with my girlfriend. We were in the backseat and she said she wasn’t ready but I said we had already gone too far so let’s keep going. There was me at nineteen at a college party when a bunch of guys took a passed out girl upstairs and I didn’t stop them. There was me at twenty two when I didn’t take the keys from my friend and he drove home drunk, but he didn’t make it. There was me at home instead of visiting my dad before he passed away. There was me watching a movie instead of calling a friend who was home alone, waiting for me to call. There was me ignoring my wife because of past mistakes. Was I really this monster? Is this how others see me?

Then we were all back in the same room of mirrors. We all looked at each other like what was that? No one was laughing now. We pushed on the mirrors again but only the third one opened this time.

There I was, at Wrigley Field, pitching for the Cubs. The crowd was chanting my name. Oh yeah, this is what I was made for. They all love me. I was on the mound, World Series, game seven, bottom of the ninth, two outs, two on, two strikes. One more strike and I bring a championship to Chicago. The wind up, the pitch…and I heard it. My shoulder popped. Then I heard the crack of the bat as it connected to the ball. Then I heard the silence. Just like that it was all over. The game, my career, my life. I was so angry. I was mad at God. How could He bring me to this moment and then let it all go? One pitch. It was all over. What kind of God would do that to me? I shut everyone out. I drank myself to sleep every night. I didn’t know the women’s names I would wake up to. I didn’t care. I went from 60,000 people screaming my name to the deafening silence of my own thoughts.

There we were again. All six of us in the same room of mirrors. Mark said that wasn’t so bad. “Let’s get this over with,” said Scott. We looked at each other and hesitantly stepped into the fourth mirror.

There I was. A decrepit old man. No one there but me. A lifetime of choices led me to here. A lifetime of bad choices. How did I get here? I was a good guy once. I believed in God, once upon a time. I looked in the mirror and the mirror looked back. Was this really me? Then I was gone. There in my casket, all by myself. Honestly, all by myself. No one came to say goodbye. Not one single person! Was I that unlovable and selfish? Was I really that bad of a person? I guess the truth hurts because I must’ve been for not one single person to show up.

We were all back in the room of mirrors. A couple of my friends said how cool their mirrors were. They hope their lives turn out like that. I didn’t have anything to say. This time the first mirror, the normal mirror, opened and we walked through. A couple turns and a few distorted mirrors later we were at the exit.

“Hey boys, how’d you like it? Did you like what you saw?” said the carny. “The mirrors don’t lie boys. If you didn’t like what you saw, you still have time to do something about it.” That was when he looked at me again and winked and gave me something. I was too terrified to look at it so I stuck it in my pocket and left. He turned around and started shouting , “step right up boys and girls, come on in, only a dollar and it will change your life.”

I forgot about what he gave me until I got home and undressed. It fell out of my pocket. A small bible with a note inside. Read this if you want to change your life. Read this if you didn’t like what you saw in the mirrors. It is your choice.

Shadows In The Dark

Image result for shadows in the dark

I have a story to tell you

It is hard to believe, but I swear it’s true

I hardly believe it myself

But it is a story I must tell

You see just last night I saw shadows in the dark

I swear it’s true, cross my heart

I know you are thinking, “How can there be shadows with no light?”

I say you are correct, but this world isn’t always black and white

So sit down and listen, let me tell you my story

It won’t take long, in case you are in a hurry

Image result for john 1 5

You see I was walking home, it was the darkest of nights

No where could be found a single light

(Except of course from the windows of a few brave souls up that late)

But their light didn’t cast a shadow for this was my fate

The wind ripped through the trees

I was scared, (but keep that between you and me)

I knew deep down in my bones

I just knew I wasn’t alone

I could feel the enemy all around

They made such a terrible sound

Image result for darkest of nights

The gnashing and gnawing gave me a fright

I could hear them, but they were out of sight

I had chills up and down my spine

I felt as if I was running out of time

It was right then and there I said a little prayer

God, if you have just a little time to spare 

Even though a lot of bad I have done

Do you think you could help me out some?

It was then I saw the first shadow

He took the lead so I decided to follow

Image result for bible verses on light in the darkness

Soon I saw ten or fifteen more

I felt a peace that wasn’t there before

They told me their names

No two were the same

There was Integrity,  Honesty, Compassion and Loyalty

There was Kindness, Forgiveness, Responsibility and Humility

There was Hope, Love, Faith, Joy,  Courage and Trust

They told me each one of them also lives in us

They told me we are so distracted by the darkness of this place

That we often do not see them, even when we are face to face

Image result for bible verses on light in the darkness

They walked me to where I needed to go

They left before I could thank them though

I am thanking them now by writing this to you

My friend when you are lost and don’t know what to do

When you are in despair

And think there’s no one who cares

Think of something good, something you can not see

No matter the darkness, there is a light in you and me

There is a light that can penetrate the darkest of dark

You just have to believe with all your heart

That in  your darkest of  darkest nights

There are shadows that can only be caused by the light

Image result for darkest of nights

At The Corner Of Unicorn Lane

At the corner of Unicorn Lane

Right before you get to Leprechaun Street

There lives a…. I don’t want to tell you it’s name

It’s not something most would want to meet

Some say it’s small, like an elf, fairy or pixie

Some say it’s big, like a Sasquatch, an ogre, or a Nephilim

I have seen it and to talk about it is quite risky

What I will say  is that it doesn’t look like any of them

 

Image result for mythical creatures

 

Some say it’s a hybrid, like a griffin, a Minotaur or a mermaid

Others say it’s a shapeshifter, a werewolf, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

I have seen it and trust me, don’t get in its way

The last person that did has disappeared, perhaps has died

I’ve heard some says it’s a Kirin or a dragon

I’ve heard some say it’s a Chupacabra or a vampire

I have seen it and it’s worse than you can imagine

I can understand that  you might think I’m a liar

Let me continue please

I’m not an expert but it’s important what I have to say

Trust me, it’s for your safety

For it doesn’t matter if it’s night or day

Image result for Friedrich Nietzsche monsters

Some say it is a hideous creature

Others say it looks just like you and me

Some say it has the scariest features

It’s always different for those  unfortunate enough to see

So when you go down Leprechaun Street

And you get to the corner of Unicorn Lane

Please keep walking, I beg you to move your feet

Especially on a cold dark night when it starts to rain

Enough already! You exclaim. Just tell me does it really exist?

I hesitate, not sure if you can handle the truth

Please stop asking ! I can’t say! Oh, why do you insist?

Are you ready? Are you sure? It… it’s…. aahhhh it’s YOU!

 

 

Image result for ephesians 6 12

Shadows In The Dark

Image result for shadows in the dark

I have a story to tell you

It is hard to believe, but I swear it’s true

I hardly believe it myself

But it is a story I must tell

You see just last night I saw shadows in the dark

I swear it’s true, cross my heart

I know you are thinking, “How can there be shadows with no light?”

I say you are correct, but this world isn’t always black and white

So sit down and listen, let me tell you my story

It won’t take long, in case you are in a hurry

Image result for john 1 5

You see I was walking home, it was the darkest of nights

No where could be found a single light

(Except of course from the windows of a few brave souls up that late)

But their light didn’t cast a shadow for this was my fate

The wind ripped through the trees

I was scared, (but keep that between you and me)

I knew deep down in my bones

I just knew I wasn’t alone

I could feel the enemy all around

They made such a terrible sound

Image result for darkest of nights

The gnashing and gnawing gave me a fright

I could hear them, but they were out of sight

I had chills up and down my spine

I felt as if I was running out of time

It was right then and there I said a little prayer

God, if you have just a little time to spare 

Even though a lot of bad I have done

Do you think you could help me out some?

It was then I saw the first shadow

He took the lead so I decided to follow

Image result for bible verses on light in the darkness

Soon I saw ten or fifteen more

I felt a peace that wasn’t there before

They told me their names

No two were the same

There was Integrity,  Honesty, Compassion and Loyalty

There was Kindness, Forgiveness, Responsibility and Humility

There was Hope, Love, Faith, Joy,  Courage and Trust

They told me each one of them also lives in us

They told me we are so distracted by the darkness of this place

That we often do not see them, even when we are face to face

Image result for bible verses on light in the darkness

They walked me to where I needed to go

They left before I could thank them though

I am thanking them now by writing this to you

My friend when you are lost and don’t know what to do

When you are in despair

And think there’s no one who cares

Think of something good, something you can not see

No matter the darkness, there is a light in you and me

There is a light that can penetrate the darkest of dark

You just have to believe with all your heart

That in  your darkest of  darkest nights

There are shadows that can only be caused by the light

Image result for darkest of nights

Save My Life by Sidewalk Prophets –  

I Wanna Go Back by David Dunn – 

No One Can Steal Our Joy by Tenth Avenue North – 

Rise by Danny Gokey – 

The Cure by Unspoken  – 

The Funhouse Of Mirrors

sites at the local fair ground - I never liked to funhouse.  But if I was with friends I went in them and rode rides anyway.  Nana

“Step right up, come on in, only a dollar” shouted the carny. He looked right at me and my friends. “Come on in boys, this will change your life” and he winked at me. I don’t know but my gut was telling me something was wrong. My friends wanted to go in and since I didn’t want to be left out, I went in with them.

It wasn’t much at first. A conveyor belt going the opposite direction. Oooh scary right? We made a tight turn to the right and the floor started shaking. Everyone started to laugh but the feeling inside me was getting worse. It was then the lights went out. We started reaching out, touching each other to make sure we were all still there. We slowly inched forward and hit a wall, promptly piling into each other.  Then the lights came on and that was when the fun began.

Image result for carnival fun house mirrors

We were looking at ourselves, all four versions of each of us. We looked at each other like what the crap, a couple of my friends used some other choice words. In one mirror there was me, looking as normal as I am now, if you can call that normal. In the second mirror I was a hideous monster. What the heck? The third mirror I was a baseball player, uniform, glove and all. How could this be? I only was wearing the clothes I came in with. The fourth mirror showed me as an old, decrepit old man, all by myself. It was then we realized there was no exit. We did the only thing we could and started to push on the mirrors. The only one that moved was the second one. We all looked at each other and kind of shrugged and took a step through. But we weren’t all together on the other side.

There I was, the hideous monster. I pulled on my skin and clothes to get them to come off but they were me and I was them. It was then I noticed a small light in the distance. I walked toward it and saw it was a cell phone. It had a note on it. PRESS PLAY. What I saw disgusted me and I wish I didn’t have to tell you about it, but I do. It was 15 second clips of my life. There was me eight years old pushing the other kids down on the playground. There was me twelve years old stealing a cassette from the local music store. There was me sixteen years old with my girlfriend. We were in the backseat and she said she wasn’t ready but I said we had already gone too far so let’s keep going. There was me at nineteen at a college party when a bunch of guys took a passed out girl upstairs and I didn’t stop them. There was me at twenty two when I didn’t take the keys from my friend and he drove home drunk, but he didn’t make it. There was me at home instead of visiting my dad before he passed away. There was me watching a movie instead of calling a friend who was home alone, waiting for me to call. There was me ignoring my wife because of past mistakes. Was I really this monster? Is this how others see me?

Then we were all back in the same room of mirrors. We all looked at each other like what was that? No one was laughing now. We pushed on the mirrors again but only the third one opened this time.

There I was, at Wrigley Field, pitching for the Cubs. The crowd was chanting my name. Oh yeah, this is what I was made for. They all love me. I was on the mound, World Series, game seven, bottom of the ninth, two outs, two on, two strikes. One more strike and I bring a championship to Chicago. The wind up, the pitch…and I heard it. My shoulder popped. Then I heard the crack of the bat as it connected to the ball. Then I heard the silence. Just like that it was all over. The game, my career, my life. I was so angry. I was mad at God. How could He bring me to this moment and then let it all go? One pitch. It was all over. What kind of God would do that to me? I shut everyone out. I drank myself to sleep every night. I didn’t know the women’s names I would wake up to. I didn’t care. I went from 60,000 people screaming my name to the deafening silence of my own thoughts.

There we were again. All six of us in the same room of mirrors. Mark said that wasn’t so bad. “Let’s get this over with,” said Scott. We looked at each other and hesitantly stepped into the fourth mirror.

There I was. A decrepit old man. No one there but me. A lifetime of choices led me to here. A lifetime of bad choices. How did I get here? I was a good guy once. I believed in God, once upon a time. I looked in the mirror and the mirror looked back. Was this really me? Then I was gone. There in my casket, all by myself. Honestly, all by myself. No one came to say goodbye. Not one single person! Was I that unloveable and selfish? Was I really that bad of a person? I guess the truth hurts because I must’ve been for not one single person to show up.

We were all back in the room of mirrors. A couple of my friends said how cool their mirrors were. They hope their lives turn out like that. I didn’t have anything to say. This time the first mirror, the normal mirror, opened and we walked through. A couple turns and a few distorted mirrors later we were at the exit.

“Hey boys, how’d you like it? Did you like what you saw?” said the carny. “The mirrors don’t lie boys. If you didn’t like what you saw, you still have time to do something about it.” That was when he looked at me again and winked and gave me something. I was too terrified to look at it so I stuck it in my pocket and left. He turned around and started shouting , “step right up boys and girls, come on in, only a dollar and it will change your life.”

I forgot about what he gave me until I got home and undressed. It fell out of my pocket. A small bible with a note inside. Read this if you want to change your life. Read this if you didn’t like what you saw in the mirrors. It is your choice.

Monster by Skillet – 

All Of Me by Meatloaf – 

Ain’t Much Left Of Me by Blackberry Smoke – 

These Things I Hate (Revolves Around Me) by Bullet For My Valentine – 

Chip Away by Julliet – 

Hate Me by Blue October – 

Faces by One Less Reason – 

Objects In The Rearview Mirror by Meatloaf – 

I’ll Find Me by Steve Azar – 

Sing by Waiting Hill – 

I Remember Me by Jennifer Hudson –  

I Hope They Get To Me In Time by Darius Rucker – 

Mirrors by Justin Timberlake – 

Funhouse Mirror by Jill K – 

I Choose You by Point of Grace – 

The Haunted House

Animated Haunted House animated house gif halloween haunted

I have been in the house many times since the first time. The first time was when I was eight years old. I was being teased, called a chicken, and all those things kids say to each other. Triple dog dare. You can’t turn down a triple dog dare. It was the first time I opened the door. I only looked inside for a second but that was enough.  The door had been opened and my future was doomed.

I soon started visiting the house more than I would like to admit. Always by myself of course. I couldn’t let my friends know what I was doing. Each time I went in I would find a new room to explore. It was fascinating at first. All these new things I was finding meant I was also learning more about myself. I thought I was being brave. Anytime something would happen to me I would run to the solitude of the house. Only in the day time though. Never at night.

At night you could always find me in my own house. Safe, warm and comfortable. My parents loved me and I felt safe in my house. Of course you could say as many times as I was visiting the so-called haunted house that it became my home away from home. My place to go to be alone and collect my thoughts. Leave some of my thoughts there. Come out a new person, but I left a part of me in that house each time I went.

It wasn’t long before I was sneaking out of my home and going to my haunted house at night. I couldn’t help it. I loved being the only one there. The only one that knew I was spending so much time there was me. I loved that sometimes when I went there would be a new room or two to explore. I never questioned how they got there. Part of the mystery of a haunted house I thought.

I started to withdraw from my friends so I could spend more time there. I could explore my house for hours on end, always something new but I could also go back and remember. Remember the who, what, why,  where and when of the first time I opened this door or that door. Remember when I was so scared I slammed that door closed, only to peek back in a few weeks later. No door was ever sealed shut. I could visit anytime I would visit the house.

The problem came when I couldn’t resist the house anymore. It just kept luring me in. Like it was calling out to me. Come on in, it is safe here. You don’t need anyone else. Just you and your thoughts, that’s all you need. No one will hurt you in here.

Comfort. I found comfort in that house. I should’ve bought the place and moved in. Saved me from going there all the time. It was on one of these trips that I met someone. A man like I had never met before. He told me to stop going to the haunted house. There is nothing there for me. How did he know was my first thought? My second thought was who cares who he is. This was my world and my house and he was just an intruder. Another person out to get me.

A couple days later I was going back to the house and there he was. Sitting on the front steps. The same steps I first went up when I was eight, except they didn’t look so scary anymore. They almost looked warm and inviting. Anyway, back to my guest. There he was. “How did you get here,” I asked. “I’ve been watching you for years,” he said. What kind of person is this?  I then bluntly told him to leave. He wasn’t welcome here. He told me he couldn’t do that. He was here to help me leave this place, leave it for good.

No way. This is my place. My home. He had no right to ask me to leave it.

But he got me thinking. In my experience, that is never a good thing. I would rather just go to my house and leave my thoughts in one of the rooms.

I walked on by him and he got up and followed me in. “Look at your prison,” he said. “My prison? This is my house,” I corrected him.  “No”, he said, “I have a much better house for you. Want to see it?”

“Not really sure,” I said, “I like this place.”

“Here take my hand and I will show you,” he said. I don’t know why but I reached out for his hand and….all the doors opened. All the doors in my house flew open and everything that was in them came pouring out.

I screamed, “let me go!!” I pulled my hand away and ran. This wasn’t my house. How did all these things get in here? Why was he letting them all out? I tried to shut the doors but they would not close. I fell to my knees and let them overtake me. But they didn’t touch me. They all poured into him. He took them all. All my good and all my bad. All my pretty and all my ugly. They all poured into him.

I watched, mesmerized. It seemed like it lasted for hours but it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. How could I let all this stuff in my house? I watched as everything flew out. Things I forgot I put in the rooms. Things that kept me a prisoner in my house. Fear, lots of rooms full of fear. Anxiety, worry, hurt all leaving my house. Negative thoughts and lies I believed to numb the pain all gone. Depression, shame, guilt- all gone. Anger and hate, see you later. Regrets, doubts about who I am, lies, distrust, unforgiveness, all gone.

You might ask what was left but you already know. Love was left. A love that told me I didn’t need to live in this house. A love that told me I was forgiven. A love that showed me who I am. A love that told me to unlock those doors and throw away the key. A love that told me my house isn’t haunted. A love that told me I could’ve left that house anytime I wanted. A love that told me I never had to build that house.

Mansion by NF – 

My Own Prison by Creed – 

Empire In My Mind by The Wallflowers – 

Demons by Imagine Dragons – 

Baptize My Mind by Jon Foreman – 

Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel – 

Keep Your Mind Wide Open by Annasophia Robb – 

Outta My Mind by Anthem Lights – 

Peace Of Mind by Decemberadio – 

Voices by Sumerlin – 

Hearing Voices by Anberlin –  

March Out Of The Darkness by Papa Roach – 

Out Of Mind by Queensryche – 

The Maze

I was shivering. Strange, since when I went to bed I put an extra blanket on and set the thermostat to heat up the house at 6:00. I then realized I was also wet. I startled awake only to realize I wasn’t in my warm bed. I was in some type of… give me a minute to look around. I was in some type of maze. Confused, bewildered, baffled, were some of the words that came to mind. I had to be dreaming, but I wasn’t.

I yelled out, but no one answered. I did the only thing I could and started to walk. Around this bend, turn left here, turn right there, dead end, start again. I then saw a note up ahead. I read it: If you have ever lied turn left at the next turn.  Well yeah I have lied, who hasn’t? I came to the turn and went left. After about 200 yards or so I found another note. If you have ever stolen anything, turn left again. Unfortunately, I had to turn left. I kept walking for another 200 yards and yet another note. If you have ever dishonored your mother or father turn left again.  Well, to be honest I am sure I have but if I did maybe it was just something little like talking back or missing curfew. Guess my answer was already made for me because the only way I could turn was left.

I know I just walked in a square but yet I was someplace new. Hanging up at the end of this walkway was a mirror. As soon as I looked into it I heard the voices. You are ugly. You aren’t good enough. No one likes you. Your kids don’t even like you. Look at your body, what have you done to it. You are a disgrace. Why are you even alive?

I covered my face with my hands and ran. I ran as fast and as far as I could but I could not get the voices out of my head. I came to another intersection.

Have you ever committed adultery? Well. Not physically. Then another voice: that doesn’t matter. Have you or haven’t you? Okay, yes I have! Correct. Go right.

Have you ever murdered someone? Of course not, I said. Are you sure about that? Yes, I am positive on that one. Then the images came to me like it was yesterday. The girl I talked into sleeping with me. She was so young and innocent. I wanted her. She said no but eventually I wore her down and she gave in. I murdered a piece of her that night. I murdered a piece of the boy I used to make fun of because he wasn’t like me. Oh God! Make this stop. Good try! God isn’t here and he isn’t coming. This is my world and you are just a pawn in it.  Go right.

Have you ever worshiped someone other than your so called God? Have you ever used your so called Gods name in vain?  Have you ever ….  GO RIGHT I SAID!

NO!! I screamed. I don’t have to listen to you. I don’t have to go where you want me to. I can break this. I can walk away. You are a liar.

No, you can’t. Remember you are a nobody. No one likes you, except me. You are what I need to change this world.  YOU can follow me, YOU can rule the world with me. YOU can turn stones into bread. YOU can jump off a building and angels will catch you. I can make you into the most powerful person in this world. TURN RIGHT!!

No, that’s where you are wrong. I don’t want to be the most powerful person in the world. I don’t need to be liked by everyone because I know God loves me. I don’t need your lies. I just need to follow the truth. With that last word I sprinted as fast as I could, to the left, and ran and ran for what seemed like days. I didn’t realize that the maze was disappearing as I ran. I was breaking free from the chains that bind me. By the time I stopped it was all gone.

I fell to the ground. Exhausted. Sweating. Breathing hard. I didn’t hear the footsteps come up beside me. Maybe there wasn’t any. I heard his voice. The one I have heard many times throughout my life but ignored. I felt him kneel beside me. I felt his hand on mine. I heard him say well done. I heard him say I love you. I heard him say I want you. I heard him say you belong with me.

He picked me up and walked me back home. He said trust in me. Have faith in me. Love me. And just like that he was gone. But was he really?

Breaking Inside by Shinedown – 

It’s A Maze from the Secret Garden – 

Lost by Red – 

Lost and Found by Rocket to the Moon – 

Come and Lead Me by Danielle and Mackenzie – 

You Set Me Free by Angie Miller – 

You’re Not Alone by Owl City – 

Lead Me To The Cross by Hillsong – 

Impossible by Sidewalk Prophets – 

Lost Get Found by Britt Nicole – 

Changed by The Katinas –