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?