If you were a child in the 1980s, then you probably heard terrifying rumors about devil worshipers in the woods. Remember? They sacrificed your pets and danced around fires? Remember how no one ever actually saw this happening but we were all terrified?

Well, consider this post a warning to all those fools running around in scary clown costumes. Y’all better not be real. Because if I get word that you are anywhere in the vicinity of my children, I will hunt you down and kill you. Best to consider this piece of writing exhibit A in my trial for your murder.

I will put up with a whole host of nonsense. I will tolerate all kinds of things. But I draw the line firmly at adults trying to scare my babies. When I took our son to see Zootopia he got so scared I’m lucky I didn’t walk out of there smelling like pee. That movie was ridiculous. It was like CSI with animals. It was, clearly, not a movie for small children. I hate Zooptopia and will stop at nothing to prevent it from making other kindergartners wet themselves.

Imagine, clown brigade, just imagine what I would do to you.

christian-clownsMotherhood is many things. It is nurturing and gentle. Motherhood is exhaustive and never ending. Motherhood is funny and stinky and sweet. But more than anything, motherhood is fierce.

We can get dangerously close to underestimating the power of being a mom. With all of the “anything you can do I can do better” that gets used to argue against gender roles in parenting, we can forget the bond that tethers a mother to a child. It started with an umbilical cord and ended with me pushing them out of my nether regions. Physicality aside, all of the adoptive mothers I know worked real hard to get those babies. Motherhood is not to be trifled with.

Mothers have collectively come out against all kinds of things: cigarettes, booze, and guns. While it may look like we have an M.O. against fun stuff, let me be very clear, we are against these things because they might hurt our children. That is the only reason. Cigarettes can be delightful in college. A glass or two of pink wine in the evenings whilst watching The Mindy Project is a treat I’m not sure I could live without. And while I am not a proponent of guns, all of this clown nonsense is making me think I might be on the wrong side of the issue.



Everyone watched Stranger Things and wanted to talk more about Barb. I wanted to talk more about Joyce Beyers, as played by the inimitable Winona Ryder. For those of you who live in a Netflix-less hell, Beyers is the mother of a boy who actually gets taken by a monster into an alternative (and terrifying) universe.

By far, my favorite scene of the series is when Joyce encounters the monster in her own home. Immediately, she hightails it to her car. You think she’s about to peel out of her gravel driveway. But Joyce pauses for a moment because she remembers that damned monster has her baby. She proceeds to leap out of the car with a kind of oh-hell-to-the-no determination. Because Joyce will face down the devil himself to retrieve her child. As would we all.

To be clear, God knows this about mothers. In the prophetic texts, when things are getting really messy with Israel, he hauls out the mother metaphor and hush goes the crowd. Hit it, Hosea:

Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
I will attack them and rip them open;
Like a lion I will devour them—
A wild animal will tear them apart.

You can just hear God, with a Reba McEntire-esque intonation yelling:


Equally as remarkable, Jesus invokes the motherhood metaphor to get his level of fierceness and concern across in Matthew’s Gospel. This is one of those passages I return to again and again. It brings me such comfort, as a child of God myself. Jesus, the one who longs to keep us safe:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

To be clear, Jesus is much more pastoral with us sinners than I would be with adults dressed as clowns trying to scare my children. But that’s what makes Jesus, Jesus and me, me.

On a serious note, we live in a world where mothers struggle to protect their children every single day. 50,000 children have been killed in the Syrian War. Our news cycle is filled with weeping black mothers who have lost yet another precious son. The opioide crisis in this country is tearing families apart. But thanks to sensationalized news, a bunch of idiots dressed up as clowns are making us all worry. I am not sure what makes me angrier, the fear they are trying to invoke or the distraction from real problems they are creating.

Look clowns, I know you are saved by grace just like me. I know that Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sinful nature just as much as he died to save me from mine. But let’s not put that theology to the ultimate test, okay? Take off your dumb costume and stop scaring children.

Because if you do not, I am really going to have to push this whole salvation thing to its outer limits. Clowns, if I see you, I will hit you with my car. And I do not want to go to jail. My children need their mother.