I could not rightly process what I just walked in on. What I saw shocked my senses and knocked me back a few steps.
“These are children! Young children!” was all that kept running through my ragged mind, for I was attempting to assure myself that this could not possibly be true, or even likely. And each time I experienced such an assault on my senses I went through the same process. “This is not real. These are just children!” and, “There must be a better explanation.”
Better than what? What was right in front of my eyes? Two very young children able to gather specific articles and use them for a specific practice? Naw! No way! Right? There is no way a three and five-year old could come up with this stuff. But when I asked them about it, my denial was blown away and further shocked what any sense I had left.
Believe it or not, truth is often more shocking than fiction.
So I stood there in the room, thanking God I was shocked into silence. The last thing I wanted was to be sparked into a rant toward these young, inquisitive children. The shock allowed me time to ponder what my response ought to be. Frankly, I just wanted to fall over. Maybe run and forget I had even seen what they did? But I looked at their innocent, precious faces glaring with guilt and knew I had to use this opportunity for their good. Thank God I was never good at denial. That grace could overcome whatever in me and help me go about things in a manner that best helps. So, I asked the boy, “What is this?”
This was not the first time I had walked in on such a ghastly sight, orchestrated by the little hands of these same two children. There were a few times as well with their sister, who was a few years older. Nonetheless, each time I had to stop (which was the easy part), get a grip and inquire. Once they could get beyond the shame they expressed for what they had done, they told me that it is “secret” and they “have to do these things.” They informed that other adults (which they named) showed them what to do, and told them they have to do these things. After some time encouraging them to see the difference between good secrets and bad secrets, they would finally spill on and on with all the details.
Yes, the gory details.
There is no greater shock to the senses than to not only observe children “play” like this, but also hear the details of what it is they believe they are doing.
Have you ever heard a three-year old articulate the words “sacrifice” or “executioner”? With a look in her eyes that could send chills up the spine of even the most seasoned investigator?
Or how about a five-year old explaining in deep detail the purposes of the blood, the specific cuts on the “offering” and what is to be done with the “blood and offering”? These are just children.
Young, young children
Some children play with action figures, some Barbies and stuffed toys. Some kids, when they get into makeup, can provide a mess like none other! Especially the younger ones. The pretty powder smears, the slick lipstick stains and the eyeliner that never seems to rub away, all lure utter joy for pudgy, little fingers that just cannot overcome the urges to discover. You may find a gifted child that has watched mommy or sissy enough to manage at least to get close with the lipstick, but on her lips. Because that is what she saw mommy do. Not her eyes, or those of her teddy bear. Not in such a specific, distinct pattern. Usually kids that sneak into mommy’s makeup leave a trail and make a considerable mess. But to be so controlled and precise? A three-year old? A five-year old?
And, oh! All the tantalizing colors to choose! Purple, pink, even orange or yellow! But red, and only, ever red?
And where did those words come from? Children cannot make this stuff up on their own.
Of at least that much I was certain.
Most adults walking in on such a ghastly sight would riddle the children with endless, often leading, questions, in a tone of voice that expresses their shock. Some, God forbid, may even yell. I understand those urges, but truth be told, never acted on them. In full disclosure, I must say I did not really want to know what provoked these children to “play” in this manner. A part of me wanted to simply scoop it all up, throw it in the trash and pretend it never happened. I was never good at pretend, though. So I got a grip on grace and calmly asked what it was they thought they were doing. At each point, I would simply listen. That was easy enough to not interrupt or add to what they were confiding, because my senses were more shocked with every detail they shared. And thank God for grace, because after listening I was able to ask more questions that helped them come to their own conclusions that this–whatever it is–was not good.
Why Take Photos?
Why the photos? Some have questioned my sanity on many things, among those is why I would think to take photos of such events. Honestly, there were no words I could fathom to accurately describe what I walked into these times. Part of me did not even want to attempt to find such words. Pictures seemed better than words. Too, who would believe mere words, when even the photos will garner opposition and unbelief? And, it took me at least a couple years of not believing it myself. I would look back at the photos to remind me of those days as I set out to find a reasonable explanation.
For the most part, though, these photos have been trapped away in file boxes, stacked with all sorts of information that I gathered in my quest to understand. Okay, in full disclosure, my original quest to prove that the things these children shared with me could not have possibly taken place. That they could not have possibly witnessed, let alone participated in, the ghastly things they claimed.
They also shared accounts of watching someone “take hoses out of the little girl’s belly”, with endless questions of why hoses are in someone’s belly. “Why didn’t she run away?” How do you help a child understand that? How do you begin to find out how the child even knows such things? The little boy shared in his Sunday School class once the account of watching adults force his older sister to “stab her puppy” and “take the hoses out.” How does one reconcile that with the Sunday School teacher?
No, I have no photos of that stuff. And no, this did not all end with makeup and a puppy.
Proved Meself Wrong
My original theory moved me in a quest to prove that the things I witnessed the children do and say could not possibly have happened. That none of it could be true. Early on in this quest there were so many people that came against me, lied to me and about me, all for trying to find a reasonable explanation for the children’s “play”. An explanation that did not include the horrors they confided and acted out. Half way through this quest, it occurred to me that no one gives such strong opposition if there is not something they are trying to protect, or cover up.
Ironically, it was the opposition that came against me so strongly, especially by particular people, that caused me to see the truth of what these children were saying and doing. Essentially, I was saying, “Look at what these kids did. Listen to what they are saying. This just cannot be true.” And the opposition was bashing me and devising schemes to shut me up.
Help me understand here… This kid said you did something terrible. I say this kid must be amiss and seek an alternative explanation. Yet, you come along and try to shut me up? You spread slander to make me appear a fool or, my favorite, “delusional”?
Let me tell ya, your actions told on you. All of you, and then some. In the long run, I proved my original theory terribly wrong. What these children were doing was repeating in their “play” rituals they had seen firsthand or been forced to participate in. The things they told about, all the gory details? The only “reasonable” explanation is they were simply acting out and telling what they had experienced. What they had witnessed.
Through these 20 plus years this has proven to be true.
Hold on to your hats and buckle up! Any that are interested or even merely curious, maybe even questioning for yourself the truth of similar matters, feel free to comment below or send me a note via our contact page. I can say from the past 20 years of experience and investigation, this is a wild ride. We shall venture this together, if you’re willing. “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I with them.” (Mt. 18:20) And, “a three-fold chord is not quickly broken.” (Ecc. 4:12) You are not alone.