We oohed at awwed over the spider man costumes, angels, princesses, football players and ghosts. We shouted hello to parents on the street pushing younger siblings in the stroller. We participated and it made me happy to see people.
As Halloween approached this year I was a bit confused about what we should do. Having spent the "prime" of my children's childhood not participating in Halloween, how now could I participate? It is an evil holiday with MUCH that eeks me out. I hate that my niece and nephew can't walk to my house because of skeletons in the trees, and graves, and ghosts! Scrare!
Then I read this: http://takeyourvitaminz.blogspot.com/2009/10/missional-and-participating-in.html Z shares a clip from a post about Halloween, I click over and read the whole thing, and the comments (not a fan of the ugliness) but the thought began:
"When else are my neighbors going to come knocking on my door?"
Our Family is going to get out in our yard; the grown married kids are coming to help too. We are going to serve our neighborhood by setting up a photo center and take pictures for families. We made stickers for the backs of the photos that say:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and,
Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
Your neighbors, The Polk Family
Trent, Jen & Hunter
*and our address*
Then the thoughts snowballed and we wanted something for the parents. Well, we decided to do a Family Gift Basket. We put a Veggie Tale Video, a few gift parenting books, a "Pumpkin Gospel" children's book, a few other gifts, popcorn and gift certificate to a date night at Olive Garden. It is quite a nice basket if I do say so myself. Each family can enter and we will deliver the basket at the end of the evening.
Guess what, we will have their names and addresses and we can pray over them, send them Christmas Cards, and generally set on mission to "know" them.
There will be nothing "Halloweeney" about my house. No jack-o-laterns, skeletons, ANYTHING evil.
So, this is the idea that I feel the Lord is having us step out and do. It started with how we could "serve" our neighbors and we'll see how it ends.
It's a stretch... not the serving in the way we have been called. Not the LOVING on, or talking to my neighbors; Lord knows my family will say I can start up a conversation with a wall. ...Just the dealing with the thoughts about "what will my friends think." Then... I know, those that know me will totally get this. and my new motto beats all fear: Obedience trumps worse case scenario.
We are not celebrating Halloween, we are participating with others as they celebrate Halloween. Just a point of semantics for some. But it is an issue of HEART for me.
See, we are simply trying to "LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS MORE THAN OURSELVES."