In a day a dinosaur, a brilliant student of magic and a hooded archer will roam the streets in search of treasure. It is a special event that carries a heritage that is both personal and social. Halloween is a great time of creative fun. For all those who try to connect it with evil, darkness and despair over our society, I believe that it, like everything, is all in how you use it. There is certainly an opportunity for people who cannot interpret or recognize evil to give the evening over to a celebration of things that damage us. But for what it can be, it pokes serious fun into evil’s greatest weakness and demonstrates that we are more than what we appear to be.
As one wise five year old once summed it up, the deal with Halloween is “You can’t be what you are.”
When my children were little I repeated to them the words my father said to me, “I will make you anything you want to be.” And that was a promise I sought to fulfill completely and as extravagantly as possible every year. What’s incredible to me is that I get to help make that true for my grandchildren, now. Absolutely wild.
Imagination is my soul’s whole grain and I wanted my children chewing on it as they grew as well. If they could imagine something I wanted to help them explore how possible things were in the world, regardless of how crazy it seemed to others. It is very hard to let loose of society’s warnings and limits and boundaries and tethers. Unfortunately, it seems like this is even more so in the Christian world. We have so many “don’ts” or “shouldn’ts.” We soften, retain, get wary, gentrify and forget the boldness of the one we follow.
There is an amazing worth to those of gentle or elder manners who gather with open Bibles across their knees, chatting of the wonders of eternity, tatting doilies and eating crust-less sandwiches, who write to those in far off lands who are doing missions. I respect it and in fact love that it is going on. But I come from a different place.
I was called to be a Pirate. I was recruited to be a Burglar. I am part of the band of the Thief in the Night who is breaking into the strong man’s house, tying him up and looting his stronghold (Mark 3:27). I will not give evil a respect it does not deserve or pretend it has a strength it doesn’t. I intend to take every thought and make it captive unto Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) who comes unpredictably, robbing darkness of its power with Joy.
I celebrate All Hallows Eve because I know who is bigger and stronger than darkness and I hold his hand. I intend to go into the darkness with the one who is Light and who promised to make me more than what I am.