The Horror of the Hand Dryer

He opened the door and nervously glanced around. He was frightened about what he would find. Every room of this type held the same, scary nemesis. The walls seemed to close in on him as he saw it. Sheer terror filled his heart as he looked to his companion and breathlessly whispered, “You’re not going to use the hand dryer, are you, Grandpa?”

“No, Soren, we’ll use the paper towels,” I told him.

For some inexplicable reason, my grandson has a deep fear of hand dryers. Every time we go into a bathroom together, Soren has to check out the bathroom to see if the dreaded hand dryers inhabit the walls.

I don’t know why he is afraid of them. He’s never been attacked by a hand dryer. A hand dryer has never accosted him in a dark alley, or beaten him in a bathroom, yet he still fears them.

I once made the mistake of starting a hand dryer while Soren was with me. I wasn’t thinking, I had washed my hands, there were no towels, so I started the hand dryer. Soren clasped his hands to his ears and looked at me like I had slapped him. I wasn’t sure if he was mad at me or devastated that I had betrayed him by starting the demon heater. Whatever it was, I hope I never see that look on his little face ever again. It truly broke my heart.

More than once Soren and I have left a bathroom rubbing our wet hands on our pants because some restaurant wanted to save the planet and take away the paper towels. In the name of all that’s holy, don’t these businesses know what kind of terror a hand dryer can instill in a three year old?

I guess we all have fears of one sort or another. I am afraid of heights, but that makes sense. When you are my size a fall from a height of almost any distance can crush your skull or shatter a femur, so my fear of heights makes sense. I’m also afraid of snakes. Again, that makes sense, because snakes are creepy. Maybe Soren thinks hand dryers are creepy…

I have spoken to people who are afraid to fully embrace Christianity because they are afraid of what will happen to them. I can understand that fear. Becoming a Christian is a total break from what you know, it is a leap into the unknown. What will I have to change? Which parts of my life will be tossed upside down if I decide to follow Christ?

I have good news if you are one of the fearful ones. Have no fear, everything in your life changes when you choose to follow Christ. I’m not talking about the obvious things. What changes are the things you cannot see, the things that will make your life better than you can imagine.

In John 10:6-10 it says, “Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

I’m not talking about just going to church or singing in the choir, I am talking about a life that embraces Christ and chooses to be a follower of him. It wasn’t until I fully embraced being a Christ-follower that I began to see the rewards of following him completely, with no reserve and no fear.

There is a difference between having life and the better life that Christ offers. There’s only one way to do it, and that is to get over your fear and give him a try. Find yourself a church that will show you what it means to follow Christ and begin to live by his principles. It will make every part of your life better.

Trying to reassure you and Soren… Jerry


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