At a young age, a boy became frightened by a clown that got too close and developed a phobia of clowns. He avoided them at amusement parks and excused himself from carnivals and parades.
He successfully avoided them for several years and thought that perhaps he might be over his fear. At the age of seventeen, he and several friends paid the fees to go into a ‘haunted house’.
Unfortunately, the cast at the haunted house included a clown with an ax and quickly he realized he was not at all over the fear. With soaked pants and terrified screams he ran headlong into a window and was cut all over his face and arms. A doctor diagnosed his fear as ‘Coulorophobia’ or ‘Fear of clowns’ and reassured him he was not alone.
After that he made it a point to always ask before attending a movie or play, or even watching movies. He found he could tolerate cartoon clowns just fine, but real clowns; even on a television show, were simply too much for him. He left the room and waited for the scene to end, or simply left entirely. Weeks of nightmares always accompanied his brief glimpse of a clown. The longer he watched, the longer the nightmares remained afterward. When he married, his wife became quite careful about preventing the nightmares as well; for she suffered from the terrible nightmares he endured.
The couple had a daughter who was diagnosed with a life-ending disease at the age of 8. She was a kind, precious child and never complained through her treatments or multiple doctor visits. The couple knew her outcome did not look promising. They decided to take a trip as a family to have some memories they could talk of together when she neared the end. The girl was thrilled with the idea, and her younger brother cheered to hear he could go on a real pirate boat. The trip went very well, and the parents felt almost normal for a period as they laughed and watched their two children playing in the water.
The next morning the girl brought her mother an advertisement for a circus nearby, begging to go. She was delighted at the idea of dancing ponies, tamed lions, and trapeze artists swinging in the air. Her mother pondered what to do, for the girl seemed so sincere in her desire to see this. She knew clowns were always a part of circuses. The woman found a moment alone with her husband and discussed it with him, offering to either tell her no; or to take the two children without him. To her surprise he was emphatic that they would all go that very day.
The wife glanced at her husband throughout the car ride to the circus, wondering how he was holding up. He appeared collected and in control of his faculties, but perhaps driving a tad faster than he normally did. He smiled and said nothing when he met her glance. She caught herself from allowing a tear as she looked behind her and saw her daughter’s face, flushed with anticipation as she chattered happily with her brother.
They were almost to the turn for the circus when their daughter suddenly spoke up. “Mommy?” “I just remembered that Daddy doesn’t like clowns. I don’t want to go if they will make him scared or sad.” The mother, touched by her daughter’s kindness turned and began to speak. She was interrupted by her husband’s calm voice reassuring his daughter that he wanted to go with her more than anything in the world, that no clown would prevent him from being by her side as she saw the dancing ponies, tamed lions, and trapeze artists swinging in the air.
Moral of the story:
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
In Matthew 1:24-25 we read how Joseph acted with resolve. His actions demonstrated that he put his trust in God as he was obedient and took Mary as his wife. He did exactly as he was told and he named the baby Jesus, even though this was not a family name. The judgments of others had to be severe, and yet he did not waver. To be strong and courageous as Joseph was is astonishing to me, for once he made up his mind, he was set upon it and unmoved. Would I waver, were I given some similar challenge? I cannot honestly say, but I sincerely admire him for the resolve he demonstrated.