Christian Speculative Coming of Age

“Where I come from, men are boys and women are girls,” Devin said to his college-age son, Matt.

Matt slumped back in the living room chair. He glanced over at his mother, her eyes wet with tears. What could he say to ease the suffering of his parents upon learning that he was gay?

“Will you still love me?” Matt asked. “Or will you ostracize me like some Christian parents do when their children embrace a different lifestyle?”

His father and mother exchanged glances.

“We will always love you, Matt,” his mother replied, “but this is hard for us to accept.”

Matt’s father added, “What’s more concerning to us is you have rejected Jesus as your Lord and Savior.”

Matt’s defenses went up. He did not want to hear anything about Jesus. He’d heard enough Christians blast gays and lesbians and others like him. He could not embrace a God who would send people to hell. What kind of a God would do that?

“Dad,” Matt said, “we’ve talked about this before; if you love me, you will accept me as I am. If God is love—I mean, he made me this way, and I know he loves me. If your love is real, then I hope you will, too. Otherwise, what good is Christianity if it permits you to hate certain kinds of people? Isn’t that hypocritical?”

Not able to handle any more of the conversation, Matt’s mother got up and left the room. Matt winced as he felt her pain. He knew this wouldn’t be easy for them, but it was harder than he anticipated—even harder on himself than he expected. He had projected subtle, unspoken messages to them about his gayness, but they didn’t pick up on the cues. Or perhaps it was just easier to ignore the signs.

Devin and Matt painfully eyed each other, a father-son bond close to breaking. Matt was their only child, and if they had dreams of becoming grandparents, he had stripped them of that—and probably other aspirations that he would never know. Those hopes would be nothing more than fantasies buried deep in their psyche.

Matt expected in time, they would come around and understand his world. He had hidden behind a “straight” façade for too long, pretending to be a man when he felt like a woman. All his close friends were women. He didn’t relate to men in the way other guys did. Could his father ever accept that? Matt didn’t know.

Matt stood to leave; he couldn’t think of anything else to say to comfort his parents except to give them time to accept that their only child was gay. “I guess I’ll head back to the dorm,” Matt said.

Matt’s father walked him to the door. Placing his hand on his son’s shoulder, Devin said, “It’s not that you’re gay that upsets me the most. You have rejected Jesus, and only Jesus can heal you of this sin.”

Matt knew he wouldn’t win this argument. To bring the conversation to a close, he said, “If God is real, pray that he will reveal himself to me in a way that’s so supernatural that I can’t deny he’s talking to me.”

Devin replied, “Okay.”

Matt scoffed. “That will be the day,” and he started to leave.

“Wait,” Devin said, and he uttered a quick prayer at the door. “Dear Father, please honor Matt’s prayer. In Jesus’ name.”

Matt laughed uneasily. “Well, you didn’t have to take me literally, but that’s fine.” He slipped out of his dad’s embrace and headed down the front steps. “Tell mom I love her.”

“I will,” Devin said. “Drive safely. And remember, there is power in the name of Jesus.”

Matt got into his car and turned on the ignition. He slowly backed out of the driveway and sped off—but his destination was not what he anticipated.


Matt reached over to turn on the music using the iPhone app, but the car wouldn’t connect. It was dark, and he didn’t want to attempt to figure it out while driving, so he switched to the radio, but all he heard was static. “Odd.” He ran a quick scan—nothing. Not even the DVD unit would play.

Irritated, he focused on the road—it was only a few minutes to the dorm anyway. He pulled onto a dark two-lane alley that served as a cut-through when he was in a hurry. Why did the street seem so dark tonight?

Unexpectedly, the car slipped into neutral. The engine stopped running, and he had no power. The car’s forward momentum stopped, and he found himself sitting in the middle of the road. He looked out the window. Why was it so dang dark? An EMP attack went through his head—is this what one would be like if it happened?

He reached into his back pocket to pull out his iPhone, but it wasn’t there. He remembered reading a text message at his parent’s house and laying the phone on the table. No wonder Pandora wouldn’t work; he didn’t have his phone. He would have to return to his parent’s house as he needed his phone for school. He attempted to restart his car, but nothing happened.

Panic formed as he sat in the middle of the dark road. Even the emergency flashers wouldn’t work. No headlights—nothing.

He opened the door and stepped out on the roadway. He had no flashlight to see, no headlights on the car, and no phone to call for help. He wasn’t even sure where he was—where were the houses on the street that he had traveled hundreds of times? Was it just so dark he couldn’t see them?

He had emergency road service but needed a phone to call for help. He had no choice but to lock the car and start walking. The road would have little traffic at this late hour, so hopefully, no one would ram into his vehicle.

He must have walked a mile when he came to a house with an inside light burning. As he approached, he hesitated. It appeared to be the house that was open on Halloween every year—the famous haunted house. People came from miles around every year to experience a haunted house extravaganza. He didn’t think anyone occupied it, but the light inside indicated otherwise.

Matt had never been to the Halloween extravaganza—too spooky for him. While he didn’t believe in Jesus as his parents did, neither did he mess around in the occult. No drugs, no boos, no pornography—well, maybe just a tiny bit to satisfy his curiosity, but according to the holy book, Matt considered himself a pretty decent guy. He saw no reason to engage actively in the “cult of Jesus.” He was a good person. According to his parent’s definition, he was at odds with God’s holy book, but his parents were wrong.

Matt had pointed out numerous scriptures in the Bible to support his position that Jesus loved everybody. Matt believed that a God of love would never send anybody to hell. So he took great care not to think about that place. God wouldn’t send him there, despite his parents’ concerns. His father said where he came from, men were boys and women were girls, but the Bible didn’t say that. How old fashion his parents were.

Matt’s thoughts returned to the present situation. Should he approach the haunted house? Perhaps a family lived there now. So why keep walking if someone could help him? He just needed to borrow a phone.

He crept up to the house quietly as the darkness whispered to him. Leaves rustled in the wind, and tree branches scraped against the eaves He imagined a bat or some night creature lunging at him, and he hurried to reach the front porch. He knocked. Nobody answered. He knocked again. Still nothing.

He glanced through the window, and the light was still burning. Someone must be inside. Curious, he turned the door handle. To his surprise, the door wasn’t locked. He pushed it forward and poked his head in to see. The light emanated from an adjacent room—the only light for miles. Darkness enveloped the rest of the house. Suppose someone was in there holding a gun. He was breaking into someone’s home.

“Hello,” Matt said. “Anyone here?”

Nobody appeared. “How could someone not hear me?” Matt lamented.

Gathering up all the courage he could muster, he tiptoed through the dark entryway into what he perceived to be the living room. He would have to go around the corner to reach the lit room. When he eased around the wall, he saw the light—and screamed. His strength left him, and something pulled him into a dark, swirling vortex where he descended into a bottomless pit.


Matt hated the feeling of falling, and he yelled at the top of his lungs. His voice reverberated off walls that sounded like he was inside a tunnel. With eyes clenched, his life passed before him—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Convinced he would die, he was shocked to see how much of his meaningless life was sinful. And now it was too late to do anything about it.

Amazingly, he didn’t die when he landed and gasped for air. With his heart pounding, he could hardly breathe as he lay on a damp, cold, cavernous-like floor. While the fall didn’t kill him, he feared his heart would explode. He leaned over and vomited. What he wouldn’t give for water in the intense heat. Exhausted, he pulled himself up to his feet, and as his eyes adjusted, he saw fires burning. The screams of desperate voices filled his ears, and an overwhelming sulfuric smell nauseated him again.

“Get me out of here,” a voice cried. “Someone must have seen me arrive,” Matt surmised. He wasn’t about to rescue anyone. He wanted to run away, but how would he escape? Looking straight ahead and glancing behind him, everything reflected back at him. He felt trapped in a prism that deflected reality in multiple directions.

He edged closer to the fire, and overwhelming heat scorched his skin. A wicked wind blasted the area, gagging him and forcing him to retreat. Vaguely he could make out images of bodies in the flickering flames, but he couldn’t tell if they were male or female. Their voices sounded all the same.

Matt didn’t want to think about where he was, but he couldn’t deny it—he was in hell, but he wasn’t dead—or was he?

As he walked along the edge of the burning embers, he saw bodies in the sea of fire, but the fire did not consume them. Then he noticed some chained spirits. The ugly, vile creatures were quite tall, taller than humans. Who were they?

When the entities in the fire saw Matt, they cried out, “Save us from the wrath of God!”

Petrified, Matt began to run aimlessly, but his surroundings never changed. What he saw only added to his terror. He came upon revulsive creatures with tentacles reaching out to grab him.

Unexpectedly, he saw what appeared to be males in the fire. They swayed in the fire seductively as if trying to lure him closer. Unintentionally, he locked eyes with one of them. The attraction was so strong he couldn’t peel his eyes away. He felt like a defenseless animal caught in a trap. Something wickedly supernatural that he couldn’t resist drew him in.

The vile spirit wanted to kill Matt, and despite his attempt to escape, he couldn’t. Matt feared the heat would vaporize him and contemplated how long it would take. At the last second, he cried out, “Jesus!”

Immediately the trance broke, and Matt collapsed to the ground. Giant roaches scampered around him and he rose to his feet. Overcome with dread of being drawn into the fire again, Matt cried out to God once more, “Jesus, please save me!”


The college student found himself standing beside his car at the exact spot where he had left it. Houses appeared along the road—places that weren’t there before, and streetlights lit the street. He leaned against his car and bowed his head. “Thank you, Jesus. Forgive me,” and he sobbed.

For the first time, he realized that choosing a lifestyle forbidden in the Bible was like choosing death over life. He would die an early death on earth, and he would be separated from God forever in eternity.

The enticement to a gay lifestyle broken, Matt recognized it as a lure from the pit of hell. Perhaps he wasn’t tempted by power, fame, or money, but sin enticed everybody, and the devil used his sin to blind him to God’s truth.

Now he wanted to repent—to separate himself from that lifestyle. First, he would retrieve his phone at his parent’s house.

Matt unlocked his car and climbed in. To his amazement, the car started. “Thank you, Jesus,” and he took off. Not only did he want to share with his parents what happened—that God had answered his prayer—but he also wanted to hear more about where his father came from—where men were boys and women were girls. No longer deceived by sin, the death and resurrection of Jesus had set him free to be all that God had created him to be—a young man destined to serve him.

September 23, 2022 06:32

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J.M. De Jong
19:19 Sep 27, 2022

Wow, I am so glad I read this. Seeing the Christian label kept me reading, but I admit that once the mc talked about his sin, I nearly stopped. Afraid of where it was going until the father spoke and then I knew this was going to be good. I am honestly shocked to find a writer bold enough to write such things! It is awesome!! Keep at it! Finding fellow Christian writers is such a blessing! :)


Lorilyn Roberts
02:58 Sep 30, 2022

Thank you. When it affects your family, you think deeply about these things and what the Bible says. God can do anything:)


J.M. De Jong
06:19 Sep 30, 2022

Amen to that!


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