by Kelley

photo credit: Creative Commons

Isles of orange and black everywhere, black cats crossing my field of vision and plastic caldrons brewing imagined worlds of fear. Surely ghoulish creatures prowl the moonlit streets of our neighborhoods this week, so beware.

Except that I’m haunted by holiness more often than not (and more than anything else). A plunge in the pit of my stomach, chills racing up my spine, a subtle shudder alert me to a Presence unseen but sensed. I catch myself craning over my shoulder – looking for something nearby, someone stalking me as walk to the mailbox or pile groceries into the trunk or submerge cereal bowls into soapy suds at the end of the day. Holiness is on the loose – again.

A strain of chords, a clarion voice can raise hairs ever so slightly, pointing to a moment worthy of my attention. Listen to the song because holiness lurks, waiting in the wings to be noticed. Our love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah or Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take I’ll be watching you… or please read the letter that I wrote… I hear holy whispers between strums and betwixt words.

The glossy magazine’s covered with the celebrity family – perfect teeth, perfectly tussled hair, children of various colors and cultures in arms. I stand spellbound – not by the flawless ideal – but the haunting again. Adoption always nudges me to recognize redemption, to catch the hint of holiness beneath the airbrushed images.

My husband tells me a truth about myself I’ve never known before. I’m seen. Goosebumps. Dry mouth. Whet eyes pregnant with tears. Once more holiness hovers above my own chaos, brooding then speaking then naming me into life. A minute more of his love-drenched gaze and I will have to toss off my shoes, barefoot before a holy telling.

You see, I’m learning my paranoia about demons and devils must be tempered because it’s Holiness that stalks me every day of the calendar year. It’s God’s holy stealth that unnerves me to remake me. The ever-hovering holiness points to presence as close as a song, goodness embedded even in the infamous, truth that sets me free to love. Everywhere I turn these days I catch a glimpse of God on move, always His holy backside because He is as quick as I am slow.

Why concede this season to darkness seeing demons behind every tree, evil etched in a moonscape or hearing harbingers of doom in a wolf’s howl? More pervasive and present is holiness, sometimes hidden and sometimes haunting, but heavy with goodness, grace and hope. Maybe we ought to be unhinged by holiness this season… opening ourselves to more love, not fear.

I claim wildly waving trees, dancing moonbeams, wolf song and silken ebony cats. I claim harvest bounty including orange gourds, ruby-red glazed apples and candy corn. I claim a world haunted with holiness each day.

24 Responses to “haunting”

  1. Denie Heppner October 25, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    this is awesome. redeeming everything! as someone who spent too many years on guard for the fallen angels, i too now rejoice that God is the only one who can stalk us….

  2. Denie Heppner October 25, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    this is awesome. redeeming everything! as someone who spent too many years on guard for the fallen angels, i too now rejoice that God is the only one who can stalk us….

    • Kelley Nikondeha October 25, 2012 at 10:56 am #

      Denie, me too! I am recovering and redeeming – also reclaiming the season. (Can you tell I have a penchant for alliteration?) I grew up in a culture of demons everywhere, but now I see God so much more active and to be celebrated!

  3. TJ October 25, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    Love the pictures you paint with your words. =)

  4. kim October 25, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Gorgeous, Kelley! I so love reading all you write.

  5. Sharon O October 25, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    I too find this time of year disturbing. I pull towards God and his holiness and back away from aisles of evil. It has always been a hard season and for many reasons I just have to step far away and give it no thought.

  6. Sarah Bessey October 25, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Amen! Amen! Amen!

  7. the life artist October 25, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    <3 <3 <3

  8. Pat October 25, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    AWESOME POST!!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. kelliwoodford October 25, 2012 at 9:49 am #


    you really did justice to this holy haunting theme. i often think of it kind of like the curtain in the temple, torn in two, revealing that all along, it was holy that would take over, rather than be profaned.

    although i know i often live in fear that evil might just overcome good, the truth that you proclaim here, friend, is of a different confidence completely.

    • Kelley Nikondeha October 25, 2012 at 10:58 am #

      ‘all along it was holy’ – love that! Thanks, Kelli. Let’s be poised to see God – especially in this season that would try and divert our attention elsewhere. Glad we are in this together.

  10. Daniela October 25, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Love this Kelley!

  11. Paul Belk October 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Chillingly beautiful. Thank you for your words! The Spirit of God is more mysterious and than anything we can conjure this season.

  12. Shae October 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    This is exquisite. You have penned perfectly that which unnerves me as much as it rattles my words. Thank you.

  13. Tina/ @teenbug October 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Scrumptious prose, Kels. Wow.

  14. Diana October 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    Indeed. Holiness is all around – so let’s be on the lookout for that and not worry quite so much about ghouls and demons. Because all that is HOLY has already won the victory over them. Amen??

  15. Jonathan Montan October 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Amen, too many people focus on the world and make it a focus of so much negative instead of seeing how Christ is working in all things

  16. Miles O'Neal October 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    I’ve never understood why Christians are so fearful of halloween. 98% of it’s just human silliness, and the rest is just second rate spirits who really have little power beyond lies and fear. Since God is infinitely beyond Satan and his fellow rebels, and since truth and love trump lies and fear every time, why worry?

    It’s just another day to dwell in God’s awesome love.

    Thanks for this excellent post!

    • Kelley Nikondeha October 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      Miles,I am with you! I want to focus my attention on love, goodness, holiness. And I don’t want to allow fear to reign this week.

  17. Margaret October 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    beautiful–perfect twist for the days leading up to Halloween. May we all be haunted by holiness

    • Kelley Nikondeha October 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      Thanks, Margaret. I agree, I want to give my attention to holy hauntings this week.

  18. Catherine Trieschmann November 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    I love this so much. I don’t mind ONE evening of misrule, a Carnivalesque masquerade of dressing up, eating too many sweets and roaming the streets at night. There’s even something to learned from ONE such evening, when imaginations have such wide berth and playfulness is a virtue.

    What I have a problem with is an entire SEASON dedicated to this one night. Stores, restaurants, even schools anticipate and celebrate this one night all month long. I yearn for a fall holiday, some ritual to mark the shortening of days, but this is not it. I want to celebrate what you call “the haunting of holiness” during this time and am bent on figuring out what this ritual might be for my children, especially.

    Michaelmas Day, anyone? : )


  1. Link love: Deeper stories | Journey Through the Chrysalis - January 24, 2013

    [...] Kelley wrote a post called Haunting on A Deeper Story last October, which talked about the way God’s Holiness haunts her in a way [...]

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image