4 Peanuts and a Smile

Halloween is an interesting time of year.

Greedy little savages going door to door demanding sweets of people who don’t owe them anything “Or else!”, which we hand over unhesitatingly because they wear disguises to hide their identities.

It’s weird.

And we plan for it ahead of time to avoid the wrath of whatever gods may be on the creepiest night of the year.

“I was robbed by Batman!”

“I was robbed by a Ninja Turtle!”

Everybody laughs and carries on as if nothing happened.

(It could be noted my girls have explained to me multiple times that there are four ninja turtles and four of them and how similar they are. IE “Ailish is Raphael because he has an ATTITUDE!” to the laughter of them all)

I really feel like we need to raise awareness of the blatant annual theft happening of things we could be eating ourselves! If my dad didn’t like “Giving hippies a ride” in the 70’s because they refused to work and earn a living like he did (true story), how is it he loves when the neighbourhood kids and my daughters come by on Halloween??

Baffling.

But we smile and wave at the parents standing on the sidewalk who encourage their children to boldly walk up to stranger’s doors and threaten “tricks?” if they leave without their candy coffers filled. A true Robin Hood story?

Having grown up in a very religious town the moral question on Halloween for many parents was whether or not a Christian should partake of the proceedings, or even if they COULD and not cursed by the devil? My parents always thought it was kind of funny as they had too much common sense to make good crazy religious people (they only qualified as good religious people), but they would offer fun nights for kids at the church filled with candy as a good alternative for those struggling with the idea.

My daughter told me of a religious family who would turn all the lights off and hide in the basement while their daughter hissed at people futilely ringing the doorbell.

That never made much sense to me…

Hiding in the basement to avoid my candy budget shortfall because of blatant theft is something I’m all about though!!

I do enjoy poking a little fun at religious folk when they get weird and having grown up in a pastor’s home I have a wealth of instructive mental videos I can replay at will from the past. I always chuckle to myself.

But underneath the Christian message could be this idea that light triumphs over darkness in the end, and it’s our job to connect hope to people of all beliefs and practices, including Halloween Thieving. Also I’m pretty sure the devil can’t just enter my home and mess us up if I give candy to a four year old dressed like a mummy.

Even mummies need to go to church so I make sure our candy bags have more than four peanuts in them, that I wear a big smile and have a Venue Kids card attached for the morning of their sugar hangover when the sinful events of the previous night force them to reconsider the pact they made with the devil by trick or treating.

It’s funny as I write this that I know it will annoy some people. What’s really funny is that it will only be religious people. I worked in industry for a very long time and it seems to me that one of the main reasons people without a church background reject the idea of a relationship with God is because they’d have to have a little fun poked at them by religious folk for denying the impact a very real God could have had on their lives for the better the entire time.

But God forbid (tongue in cheek) that church people have fun poked at us when we act a little strange and hiss at people from the basement.

I find a good instructor in Paul from the Bible whose main mission it was to influence people who disagreed with him. “To those outside the law I became as one outside the law to win them. I became a slave to all people to win the more.” And “I try to find common ground with everyone”.

“Yesssss” you might be thinking… “I will now rob banks to reach bank robbers!”. This is not advisable as one should also read the rest of the passage to see Paul’s conditions that backed his stance.

Here’s where it might benefit us to understand just how he came alongside of the people he was trying to help. He saw himself AS THEM.

I had a revelation one day that people don’t just become jerks overnight (some do their best to but..:), people are who they are for a reason. I was at work one day having my faith in God made fun of when the thought entered my mind:

“You’d think exactly the way he does if you grew up in his home”

My world shifted on its axis and I had instant rapport that would prove invaluable in the years to come…

You’d BE your neighbour if you had their history. EVEN THE JERKS.

…and even the Halloween-candy-thieving-cute-little-mummies.

Happy Halloween everyone! I’ll be hissing at you from my basement, eating my hard earned candy in the dark…

Until Erin sees me and sends me upstairs.

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