It is that glorious time of the year again—fall. The air is filled with the scent of cinnamon and spice, freshly fallen leaves, and newly picked apples. The weather has a chill, and ghouls and goblins are starting to creep onto front porches yet again. It is indeed time for Halloween, and all the spooks and frights that come along with it. The aisles of grocery stores are filled with all kinds of candy and goodies for us to procure, for ourselves and for the little dressed-up kiddies that will flock to our front doors come time for “Trick-or-Treat.”
My family always had a distinct road map when it came to trick-or-treating. To this day, I can still remember the order and the manner in which we maneuvered our way around town. When I’m home and driving around, there are some houses I pass that still echo with the memories of Halloweens past. That’s the house where one of the girls my sister was in marching band with lived – her family always gave out king-sized candy bars. There’s the house just down from my grandma’s old house, where the older gentleman would clink together fifty-cent pieces, waiting to give them out, each and every year. There’s my old teacher’s house; she always gave out pencils (honestly, I was amazed people still went to her house, because we all knew it would be a pencil, but we couldn’t resist). Then there are the roads that I pass that I remember we didn’t go down. I never really knew why. It’s a small town, it’s not like there are “bad roads,” but there were some we skipped, there were houses we avoided, and now even though times have changed and people have moved, I still look at those houses and think “that’s the house we avoided on Halloween.”
If you really think about it, the whole concept of trick-or-treating is a bit odd. For so much of their young lives, we teach school kids the mentality that they aren’t to talk to strangers, they’re to stay wary of situations that are uncertain, they’re to stick to people they trust, except when it comes to Halloween, then it’s practically fair game to head up to any porch with a light on and get some candy. It’s just sort of odd, that for one night a year, we embark on a deep world of trust with our brothers and sisters, trusting that their candy is safe, that they will treat our kids with respect, and that ultimately it will be a fun experience. (Continued on page 2)
We’re so willing for one night a year to extend that trust to people we don’t know; yet sometimes, we find ourselves unable to extend trust to God. When the world starts to feel a bit off-kilter, or things aren’t particularly going our way, our ability to trust in God’s presence and protection, love, and support flies out the window quicker than the king-sized candy bars disappear on Halloween night. Now, don’t get me wrong, unwavering trust is an immensely difficult thing, but the reality is, don’t we have just as much, if not more, reason to trust in God’s care, than we do random folks with candy? It’s true that things are not always easy, and thus trust can falter, but when we allow ourselves the space to truly examine the ways God is active in our lives, the resounding conclusion quickly appears: God loves me. God watches over me. God is here with me.
Now that doesn’t mean that things will always be easy, that things will always go our way, that we won’t ever be hurt, but what it does mean is that we are not alone, we are not without comfort, we are not without hope, even in the most seemingly hopeless of situations. God is there. God’s porch light is always on, and God is giving out things that are way better than king-sized candy bars. Every single day of our lives God drops love, care, hope, and forgiveness into our lives, and that is something to trust, that is something to appreciate, that is something to celebrate.
Dear brothers and sisters, I know that the world gets crazy. I know that there are so many things that are happening in this world that make us woeful, that make us want to give up hope, that make us want to throw up our hands and declare we’re finished. Yet, the promise remains: God is there, God is here, God is present in the world, God is active, God loves you, God loves this world; we all rest in God’s hands. I know it takes trust, I know it takes faith, and that can be immensely difficult, but rest assured you do not walk these paths alone, but surrounded by a community of faith, each of us joined together, trusting, hoping, and praying together. Just as it is always wise to have a trick-or-treat buddy, it is also wise to have a faith walk buddy, and you have them in spades here. So go out into the world boldly, trusting in our presence with each other, and ultimately trusting in God’s presence with you. A happy fall to all of you; may it be a season of blessings.
Peace it Together,