I don’t know how you fared last night. I was exhasted from a recent trip and not real excited about having our doorbell ring all night with trick or treaters from the neighborhood. But we put our game faces on and passed out candy anyway as we greeted the scads of kids that came to our door.
Then this morning, Christopher from the Portland, Oregon area, sent me a wonderful story of his Haloween. He’s a listener of The God Journey podcasts, and wanted to share how God was helping him think outside his boxes. I know this isn’t everyone’s answer for the day, but I sure see Jesus’ voice and grace evident as this story unfolds. It renewed my heart in the ways he works as we simply respond to the nudges on our heart…
Since it was your book (the Jake story) that has helped my wife and I to embrace the liberating truth that God speaks to us individually rather than just within the framework of the system, I wanted to share this amazing story with you about our experience last night. I’ll call it reverse trick or treating.
Historically, we’ve always felt that as Christians, we shouldn’t participate in Halloween in any way. Most people in our former fellowship were adamantly opposed to it. In the past, we usually would either go to a church alternative (where our kids would receive candy and have fun), orturn off all our lights and retreat to some room in the back of the house for a quiet evening.
Last night however, I felt really convicted when I came home from work, shut my garage door and turned out the lights while there were kids trick or treating just one house away. I felt like I was turning my back on them.
As I sat there for a moment, I asked the Lord “What do you want me to do?” And I felt like he was saying to me “Did I ever ask you to completely avoid others on this night?”.
So I went and told my wife that I’d rather not be hostages in our own house and that we should go ahead and turn on the porch lights and let them come. Her first response was that we didn’t have anything to hand out. When I mentioned that our own kids have an abundance of candy in their own stock from previous birthdays and holidays, we both quickly discounted it as a bad idea to take that from our kids and give it to others’. However, my five year old (who was busy peeking out the window at all the other kids), overheard me and became excited at the idea of giving other kids his candy. Although we were shocked (he treasures his candy), we decided to let him hand it out.
As kids came to our door (some of them teenagers with deeper voices than mine), they were greeted by my two kids (ages 2 and 5) eagerly serving them “treats” and having fun doing it. Some of the kids had puzzled looks on their faces and some of them were clearly touched by it (I could tell by the adoring “oohs”).
There was a concern about whether we had enough or not, but I told my son that if God wants us to give out candy, He’ll provide enough. Not only did we have enough before the night was over, but our neighbor across the street came over with her bowl of candy to give some to our kids. I thought it was an awesome lesson to them of God’s provision in a language they could understand (candy)!
I’ve never seen him so excited to serve others and give away his own things before. It was a great opportunity to talk about kindness as a fruit of the Spirit and the joy of giving that God puts in our heart. I probably didn’t even need to explain it*he was experiencing it!
The lesson for me was that God is big enough to reveal Himself even on a day that doesn’t bring glory to His name. It’s amazing how much easier it is to hear His still small voice when there’s not the constant mooing of sacred cows in my head. I’m enjoying listening to your podcasts. Thank you, and keep up the good work.