Finding Asparagus Again


I think I tried asparagus once as a kid, hated it, and never ate it again. Until a few weeks ago. My brother, who is a marvelous chef, cooked up some asparagus for a Sunday lunch we had. Nothing fancy, mind you, just steamed with something simple on it to enhance the flavors (can you tell I’m NOT a marvelous chef?). I tried . . . and loved it. Now I’m hooked. I find myself steaming up a bunch of stalks late at night and eating it as a snack. I can’t get enough of it.

This makes me think about Christian horror. I’ll admit, it’s not the most popular genre among Christian fiction, no, that title belongs to stories about the Amish, but I wonder why it’s not more popular than it is. The secular counterpart certainly holds its own and has gained some ground in recent years. Why has the “faith-based” version not garnered more attention among Christian readers? Is it because Christians are just scaredy cats? Or do we simply wish to ignore that supernatural realm that exists among and around us?

Here’s what I think. I think most Christians have tried horror in the past–maybe a novel, maybe a movie, maybe a TV show–and it left a bad taste in their mouth. It was gory and violent or filled with profanity or laced with satanic themes and demonic depictions. Whatever it was, there was nothing redeeming about it (and certainly nothing Christian) and they swore it off for good.

So when something calling itself “Christian horror” comes along (or “supernatural suspense” but who are we trying to kid?) they smirk and shrug and squint their eyes and say, “Yeah, right. Kinda an oxymoron, isn’t it?”

Is it? Can the two co-exist? I think so. I think I’ve proven they can (along with others writing in the same genre).

So here’s what I’m asking: Give it a try. Don’t say, “Oh I’m too scared to read THAT,” or  “I can’t read that stuff, it gives me nightmares,” and brush it off. Will it be scary? Sure it will, at least, I sure hope it will. But that’s okay because hopefully the message you find hidden there, the light in the darkness, will be enough to keep you coming back for more.

It’s kinda like that asparagus, you know?

So what do you think? What’s keeping people from trying a good ‘ole scary story?

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on May 13, 2010, in Life in General, Writing Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Not a good comparison pal 🙂 – I tried asparagus as a kid, and hated it. Tried it last summer, and nothing changed – your books on the other hand – I love, so that’s what counts 🙂

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  2. You hit the nail on the head for me… just too scary! I read FOUR random pages of DW over Jeff’s shoulder the other night before going to sleep, and then at 2 AM when I was stumbling to the kitchen in the dark to get a drink of water for Sarah, I was reminding myself, “There are no such things as Darklings.” 🙂 Seriously, I tend to shy away from reading things that stir up my ‘worst fears’ as a parent such as having a child kidnapped, etc. They don’t pass the ‘Whatsoever things…’ test for me, though there are many others (Jeff included) who can read in good conscience and not have that fear carrying over into their daily lives and thoughts. Maybe they have greater faith or are less sensitive or just aren’t fraidy cats… like me. 🙂

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    • Thanks for the comment, Gwenyth, and your honesty. I realize this genre isn’t for everyone. Different people have different sensitivities to scary stuff. At least you tried it,though, right? You had a “no-thank-you helping” 🙂

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  3. Elizabeth Fisher

    HA!! Lexi wanted my mom to make asparagus for her kindergarten graduation party!! She didn’t learn to like it from Greg and me! I think it was because she likes Jr Asparagus on the VeggieTales!!! Anyway, I was about to say that most horror based things don’t ever end with a redeeming message, but then you went and said it!! That’s the key. Your books, while they may be scarey, offer the promise of God’s truths. The plain and simple fact (and one that people would like to ignore) is that there is evil in this world and we need to be aware of it. But we, who are are children of the Highest God, the Creator of all things good, need to put our trust in Him. If we have a healthy fear and respect for God, then we won’t need to fear anything else. “Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world”. There is a difference between being scared of something and having an unhealthy fear of something. An unhealthy fear paralyzes you and you submit yourself to it’s power through your emotional thinking. When you are using your God-given ability to feel scared, that allows you to be cautious of something and to know that something is wrong. Having a healthy fear and respect for God allows us to trust Him to protect us and helps to keep us on the staight and narrow path. This last book you wrote wasn’t graphically gorry (sp?), but spoke of evil and God’s promises and protection. It spoke of reality, in a sense. I found it very comforting. Keep the books coming. It’ll catch on!!!

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    • Wow, great comment, Beth. Thank you! I think the horror genre is the perfect stage to display the dichotomy, the struggle and battle, between light and darkness, goodness and evil, not only in the world around us but in our own soul.

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  4. From my experience, Mike, there are many Christians who would just as soon ignore the demonic realities in this life. Therefore to read about them in any capacity scares them. The quote Elizabeth gave accentuates who we have on our side, and this is important because at some point we will face evil at some level. Your novels provide redemption and the opportunities to turn to the One who rescues from evil. If they were not redemptive, they would be just another scary book like just another worldly scary movie.
    Some people scare easily and must address fear(s) on a regular basis at nearly all levels in their lives. Some people cannot handle the dark imagininings of others. It’s okay if they can’t handle redemptive “horror”, but if they think they could read about scary situations and people facing their dark fears with a redemptive and satisfactory conclusion, they should definitely read your novels.

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    • Thanks for the wisdom, Nicole. Very true, all of it. I would never feel content to just write scary stories without that redemptive message. After all, evil is in this world, fear is all around us . . . but we have the victory!

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