One of the comments a Christian horror/supernatural suspense writer hears often is, “I can’t read that. I don’t want that kind of thing in my head.”

The thing is, I don’t mind haunted houses, vampires, werewolves, mad scientists, reanimated corpses, and other creatures that haunt the night. I create them. I direct them. I decide their ultimate fate, as do my colleagues with their creations. And I know before I type the first word that ultimately the evil will be destroyed or contained and the forces of God (in whatever form they take) will be victorious.

I know that those images will combine to show a larger picture of the power of God at work in the lives of folks like you and me.The creatures are just window dressing and metaphors.

But that being said, what is it that horror writers don’t want in their heads?

I don’t want…

You know what I don’t want in my head? I don’t want the knowledge that Aurora Colorado will never be the same. I don’t want the knowledge that James E. Holmes walked into a movie theater on Friday night, started shooting, and as of today has left 12 people dead and 58 people wounded. That’s what I don’t want in my head.

I don’t want the fact that Hastings Arthur Wise walked into the R. E. Phelon plant and shot and killed Charles Griffeth, David Moore, Leonard Filyaw, Sheryl Wood, and wounded a number of their co-workers on September 15, 1997 in my head. But it’s there. I was there for that. I covered it for the Aiken Standard newspaper, and I will never forget the anguish as family members stood on a hill across from the plant and waited to hear if their family members were dead or alive. And I will never forget the mental picture of the father who received the news that the unmoving figure lying in the parking lot was his son.

I don’t want the knowledge that some parents are willing to sell their children for crack cocaine…or for worse things… in my head. I don’t want the fact that there is actual evil in the world and there are those among us who have embraced it and have become it’s willing servants.

But it’s there. And it’s true.

I do want…

But equally true is the fact that there is a God who stands above it all. A God who, when evil manifests itself, stands ready to hold us. To heal us. To give us an alternative. Because evil is only one side of the coin. The other is good. It’s love. It’s the mercy of God. The same God who, when his very Son was surrounded by evil and killed, turned that sacrifice into something powerful enough to change the world.

So where is God in this evil act?

He’s in every prayer, every heartfelt word, every person who looks on in horror and wants to be able to do or say something to help alleviate their pain.

He is in the outpouring of love from tens of thousands of hearts.

That’s what I want in my head.

And in my heart.


  1. mikedellosso says:

    Great post, Thomas, and reminder that evil is all around us and mostly there aren’t happy endings, at least not in this world. We writers don’t create evil, we expose it for what it is, shine the light on it and show the world how vile and disgusting it is . . . then we point the way to the Light and the Power than is always victorious over evil.

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