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“My daddy’s afraid of clowns”

Picture of Greg Stier
Greg Stier

That’s the line my little boy uttered out of the blue to the nurse checking him out for croup. The conversation went something like this:

Nurse: “Jeremy can you breath deeply in and then out.”

Jeremy: “That’s cold” (referring to the metal part of the stethoscope being put on his chest)

Nurse: “I know. I know. It will warm up in just a minute. Okay breathe out again.”

Jeremy: breathing in and out fast like he was hyperventilating

Nurse: “Okay Jeremy I need you to breathe slower and breathe big.”

Jeremy: breathing slower and big

Nurse: “Good job Jeremy”

Jeremy: “Thanks. My daddy is afraid of clowns.”

Nurse: “Excuse me?”

Jeremy: “My daddy. He is really afraid of clowns.”

Nurse: “That’s nice. Okay breathe deeply one more time.”

It was random. It was weird. It was true. Clowns freak me out. They always have.

The two most distinct nightmares of my childhood years had clowns involved. One threw me into a dark abyss after accidentally touching a push lawnmower in a storage shed and the other threw me down a set of stairs. Both were laughing with their evil clown laugh as they did.

Some of you may be kind of offended because you have a clown ministry to children or something like that. Let me give you something to think about: for every ten children that are laughing and cheering by your clown shenanigans and your funny balloon animals there’s one kid who is going to need post traumatic clown counseling. While you are honking your horn and juggling your bowling pins one kid will be laughing all the way to a lifetime full of psychiatric treatment.

And what’s with your shoes? Why are big feet funny? Big feet are associated with Big Foot, another terrifiying creature of the night.

I bet he juggles too.

But there comes a time in all of our lives when we must all face our fears head on. Today’s that day for me. This afternoon at 3:30 my wife, son, daughter and me will drive to the Denver Coliseum to watch the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

When I told Jeremy the other day that we were going to the circus he reminded me with a spooky voice, “Daddy…clowns will be there.” He then laughed like only a little future clown can laugh.

Pray with me that Jeremy doesn’t take the wrong path, the path of unrighteous terror, the path of becoming a clown.

Unlikely Fighter

#1 new release in Evangelism on Amazon

The story of how a fatherless street kid overcame violence, chaos, and confusion to become a radical Christ follower.

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