“Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.” Linus - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
I’m not a big fan of Halloween (and this is not going to be a rant against Halloween BTW). It’s hard for me to celebrate a holiday dedicated to giving sugar rushes and dental decay to children. Plus, there’s that whole “dark side” thingy, you know…witches, ghosts and demon possessed pumpkins. Nope, this “holiday’ doesn’t cut it in my book.
Believe or not, I wasn’t into it as a kid either. Oh, I liked the candy deal alright, that was cool but after a while, even that got boring. As I got older I didn’t even bother dressing up as anything…I just told the neighborhood candy dealers that I was dressed as a “teenager”…hey, that can be scary in some circles! Anyways, they didn’t buy it and I would end up with non-candy items like dental floss and used pencils. Did I mention how much I dislike this event? In my book Halloween sucks…no, that wasn’t a vampire pun.
These days, the Cookingham family sometimes gives candy out or goes to a Harvest Festival hosted by a local church…most of the time we hide in our house with the lights off, pretending not to be home (don’t judge me now!). However, a recent event has troubled the force in our neighborhood…that would be my new neighbor Fred (not his real name). Fred is a great guy and neighbor but he has rocked my world by the fact that He is a Halloween junkie. His front yard is decorated like an old Vincent Price monster movie set, complete with ghouls, tombstones, ghosts, smoke and eerie music. He usually hides in his bushes on Halloween night dressed as some scary creature to give the bigger kids a good scare (usually, the ones not dressed as anything, serves them right).
My family likes Fred a lot…so do I…but do I have to stand for Halloween-o-rama next door to me? After all, I hate Halloween…right? I debated if I should confront him and ask him to tone his enthusiasm down a bit…ok…A LOT!
I found myself walking over to him the other day; he was busy adding some more gore to his set and was having a blast. I jokingly called him Igor and told him how cool everything looked and listened to the details of his creativity. We had a great talk and some laughs about past Halloween experiences. No, I didn’t confront him…why?
Simply because the Father asked me to give it (my Halloween phobia/hate attitude), a rest and connect with my neighbor. You know, the whole love your neighbor deal.
“Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are moments when we need to connect outside of our comfort zones, our personal likes and how we like to hang. We are light, we are salt, and we are the ones God has chosen to love through. What an awesome privilege! It takes a humble spirit and a willingness to serve someone else besides ourselves.
“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. (23) I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:22-23
So, no Great Pumpkin worship at my house but I do want to have the most sincere “patch” in my neighborhood, one that helps lead people to the Kingdom.