There’s a Monster Behind That Door

By Elaine Knudtson


There’s a monster behind that door.

Shhhhhh. . .

I can see light creeping underneath like the tongue of a snake ready to strike.

It’s too quiet.

He’s waiting for a chance to pounce when my back is turned.


Don’t walk too close.

Back away slowly; maybe he won’t hear me or smell my fear.

My breath is shallow, my heart pounds, my mind races:

What if. . . 

  • What if I can’t complete my quest?
  • What if I fail the test?
  • What if I throw up or stop breathing, or faint?
  • What if he has friends waiting behind other doors to join him when he whistles?

I’m trapped by the monster behind the door.

Why don’t I knock and ask his name?


If I name him, he’s real.

If I ignore him, he might disappear,

Or I could distract myself.

I could solve a puzzle,

  • or run a few laps
  • or check my phone
  • or plan a party
  • or play the piano
  • or listen to a story.

If only the monster wasn’t there.

Can you rescue me?

“Whatsoever things are good, and beautiful and pure; think on these things.”

  • I might see another sunrise
  • I might dance in the waves
  • I might pray with friends
  • I might cry when the choir sings
  • I might rest when you hold me
  • I might live again.

Has the snake lost his head?

The tongue has exploded into a ribbon of light,

pointing me away from the monster,

towards the peace that passes understanding.





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Paul was a preacher and teacher until he retired in 2015. He continues to write and listen to what God is saying to him in the ordinary and extraordinary things of life. Elaine was a public school teacher and administrator until she retired in 2018. She is using her retirement to reflect on God's work in her life and to share insights with her family and friends.

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