I won’t be home for Halloween, and I must admit, I don’t mind. Unlike my youngest daughter, who has turned it into a warm neighborhood event, the best I have mustered is handing out stickers instead of candy. (I don’t use sugar, so can’t see giving it to children.) However, my feelings about Halloween go much deeper. It’s the darkness.
Sure, a lot of people make cute costumes and have fun parties. I did that as a child and loved it. I enjoyed trick-or-treating with my brothers, gathering the haul of sweets that had to last us until Christmas. Bobbing for apples, carving Jack-o-lanterns and eating an apple on a string were great fun, too.
Back then, I didn’t recognize darkness. At least, not conceptually. I certainly felt it. And more, I lived in more darkness than I realized.
As an adult, when I learned what my father had been involved in, and the important part Halloween plays in the gruesome practices, I wanted to ban the celebration entirely.
I certainly never dressed up as a witch again. Give me animals or fairy tale characters any day.
What concerns me about Halloween, for our culture at large, is the growing, blatant familiarity with, and for some, preference for darkness.
Have you noticed, there is a trend toward more elaborate decorations for Halloween than for Christmas?
I know the darkness cannot overpower the light. I’ve read the last chapter.
It isn’t ghoulish rubber masks or pointed hats and brooms that bother me, so much as what they represent. It’s not all fantasy.
I am well acquainted with the way darkness can twist lives, damage children, tear families apart, even drive some to take their own lives, or other’s.
Evil is real.
In our world full of discord, public and personal ugliness, polarization on every side, selfishness, addictions of all kinds, and with an astounding market for child sex slaves and “private” porn, I don’t want to even play with the shadows.
I’ve seen what happens in my life when I’ve shifted my focus from what has harmed me to what blesses me. Have you?
I’ll chose the light, every time.
It does matter what we celebrate and honor, where we focus.
When Paul was in prison in Rome, and eventually died there, he wrote what some have called the Book of Joy to the Philippians. He could have looked at the moss on the cold stone walls, the chains, the guards, and the whispers of his eminent death, and gone into major depression.
Instead, he writes:
…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.