Gollum has been stalking my daughter at night. In her mind’s eye, that is. And a few dreams. The silvery creeper had her terrified yesterday at bedtime. She was sobbing, almost shaking, when I slipped into bed with her. What do you do with a child who’s afraid like that? Let me give you some advice.

Talk to Jesus.

Here’s what I did (I’ve done it many times on other issues, actually):

1. Tease the fear to the surface instead of pushing it away. This sounds counter-intuitive, but for God to deal with it you have to let it surface fully. So after she confessed her fear to me, I asked, “Are you afraid now?” She nodded, still crying. “Picture his face in your mind,” I prodded. She resisted, then trusted me. Her body tensed up even more.

2. Find the root. “Why are you afraid of him?” I asked.

“He might hurt me.”
“What will happen if he hurts you?”
“He might eat me?”
“And then what?”
“Then I’ll die.”

Ahh, there we have it. See, I’m peeling away layers to find the real fear, the real issue. Once we’ve found the root, we invite Jesus into it. I ask her to picture Gollum again.

3. Invite Jesus into it. In my prayer, I repeat her fear to stir it up:

“Jesus, Glory is afraid of Gollum because he might attack her and eat her and then she’ll die.” Notice how I don’t say, “That’s not real. That’s silly. That could never happen.” Because that’s using logic on an emotional issue. Which doesn’t work. The next part of my prayer is simple: “Jesus, what do you want Glory to know about that? Would you please reveal your truth to her?”

Then I wait. She calms, and tears turn into sniffles. Her body relaxes.

4. Follow up. I ask a simple question: “What’s going through your mind?”

“Jesus came and told me Gollum wasn’t real but even if he was real that he’d protect me and help me fight him. He’s holding out his hand.”

“Then take it,” I reply. She does. “How do you feel?” I ask.
“Peaceful,” she replies. I thank God, give her a kiss on the cheek, and walk out of her room. The fear is gone. If she’s heard from God, it always will be.