The Kloof of the Crying Child

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
There is a story, a legend, that is told around the fires in Africa when the day's work is done. In South Africa there is a kloof—a glen—called the Kloof of the Crying Child. As the story goes, it is haunted by a strange demon from whose power some have barely escaped with their lives and others are said to have actually fallen victim to its malignity.
Its manner of attack on unwary travelers was generally the same: as the traveler hurried through the haunted area at dusk he would hear what seemed to be a child's cry. Stopping to listen, he would see in the dim light a small child lying by the road—a child so helpless and attractive and appealing in appearance that he could not do other than take it up in his arms and carry it with him to his home for shelter and care.
But as he traveled homeward he found, to his horror, that it grew and grew—this thing that he had taken to his heart, nor could he cast it off. Its entrancing smile changed to a hateful scowl, and at last, with the hands of a giant, it would seize its victim by the throat—and some were left lying strangled and dead beneath the night stars.
Thus they tell the strange story, and although we lift a skeptical eyebrow at the tale, yet tragedies which this story but faintly figures are being enacted a thousand times over and not in one haunted glen only but wherever men are found.
Sin, what a power it is, and how subtle! It appears small, a little thing, and so attractive at the start that people take it to their hearts. Then it grows in strength, imperceptibly at first, perhaps—yet it grows and grows until at last with a vise-like grip it holds its victims and strangles their souls. It is soft as a summer breeze at the beginning—it is a devastating tempest at the close. It is like a smiling child at the start—it is a giant at the end, binding its victims with hands of steel and casting them down to everlasting destruction.
This South African story may be entirely a fable, but there is a story that is all too sadly true. I was preaching the gospel one night and a young fellow, 21 years old, was present. I was introduced to him, and we talked together on what I believe to be the most important subject in the world. I said to him, "Should you not think of your soul's salvation, and turn to Christ the Savior, and yield to Him as your Lord?"
He replied, "No! I want pleasure! I must have my pleasures!"
Less than three months later I saw a copy of the morning paper; around a paragraph in that paper was a blue pencil mark. In that paragraph I read of a young man who had been found dead in his room in a hotel with a towel twisted round his neck. The coroner's verdict was suicide.
It was the young man to whom I had spoken. Sin had killed him. But who could he blame? He had put himself beneath its power willingly and eagerly, and he had rejected the only Deliverer. There is a Deliverer for men; that is our Lord Jesus Christ, and besides Him there is none else.
"Sin is lawlessness," and though you love it, it is one of your greatest enemies. It is the determination of your heart to be insubordinate to God—to go your own way—to do your own thing. Sin has spoiled the earth; it has ruined men; it is the parent of sorrow, and crying and pain; it has forged the chains of darkness that bind lost souls in hell's deep dungeons.
Sin's awful power drives men onward, corrupted and deceived, with empty, unsatisfied hearts—onward and downward to the lake of fire.
The clock of time is ticking out your days, and every swing of its ceaseless pendulum carries you nearer to eternity. As you travel swiftly onward, if sin holds you on the downward road, you need a Deliverer—and there is one for you. He is our Lord Jesus Christ, but beside Him there is no savior found.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:1212Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12).