Congratulations, internet. You have rendered my loud mouth speechless.
When I started getting ‘likes’ on my TroubleFaceMom Facebook page over the weekend, I told my husband that something was wrong. Because my blog is normally a cozy little kumbaya for the friends and family who tolerate me talking too much about my kids. I hadn’t even posted anything in a few weeks. My friend thought I was about to be harassed by a gang of trolls. Then the likes kept coming so I decided to check what was going on around here. It told me that nearly 10,000 people had viewed my blog yesterday.
I died. Surely I must have posted something that angered the beast that is the internet. But what? Between my two blogs, I write about sex, marriage, autism, divorce, affairs, porn, the church, Jesus, demons, angels, faith, and parenting.
The internet is broken.
That was the only explanation I could come up with. This is a mistake. 10,000 people did not view my boring little mommy blog. But you did. And of all things, the thing that has my blog exploding is Halloween. You can read that one here.
I forgot about that post. I wrote it a year ago and it wasn’t a thing. But it’s a thing now, apparently.
Are you joking me?
The internet does not joke. And my friend is all, “you need to write a follow-up!” And I’m all, “the hell I do!”
When I first wrote that blog I thought it might offend people, but not because they were worried about demons chasing me and my kids down the street on Halloween. Somehow, that scenario did not cross my mind. Thanks for that, but no. I thought it might offend people because I’m not a born and raised in church type, and I had this feeling like Halloween is one of those things that people hate and ignore because they’re told to. And sometimes we need to question why we do the things we do. For some of us, it might mean we change the way we do things. For some of us it might not. There are people who have real and valid traumatic associations when it comes to Halloween. There are people who don’t care or can’t be bothered. And that’s fine. My previous blog was addressed more towards people who don’t really know what to do about Halloween. Because it’s changing. Churches are throwing Halloween parties and communities are throwing Halloween parties and there is a real opportunity to meet people, connect, and provide a positive alternative to all the dark and yuck for those who are looking for one.
One of the comments I got about the surge in hits to my blog is that I have angered the Evangelical Right in America with my musings on Halloween. Whoa. The who now? Then I posted the following status update on facebook:
“It’s like Christmas came early. People want to argue with me. That’s practically my love language.”
I love a good debate. I’m just not even sure where to start with this one.
This awkward and boring Canadian girl is astounded.
Kind of like that time my Grandpa had kids knocking on his door yelling trick-or-treat! for the first time. And he didn’t know what the hell was going on. Because he’d moved from Quebec (where they apparently did not have Halloween in the 60’s) to BC, and this was a brand new thing. So picture a confused French guy with 13 kids of his own, who’s probably been hitting the sauce, answering the door to a bunch of kids holding out their pillow cases asking for candy. What kind of assumption would he make? He assumed they were hungry and gave them potatoes. Naturally.
He did not carve the likeness of Jesus, or John 3:16, or a cross into the potatoes.
He did not hand out Bibles or tracts or testamints.
He saw what he perceived to be a need and he filled it.
Whatever else was going on outside was irrelevant. There were kids on his doorstep asking for something. He didn’t even know what they were asking for, or why. He just took a guess. Can’t go wrong with potatoes.
So here I am with a bunch of people knocking on my blog and all of you are looking for something different. And all I can give you is potatoes. If this is where you’re looking for the answer to what a Christian should be doing with Halloween, you are in the wrong place my friend. I don’t have the answers. Lots of questions and ideas, but not a whole lot of answers.
I’m reading the comments about shutting doors to the darkness. Shutting doors to the half-drunk parents. Shutting doors on kids who aren’t dressed appropriately. And I just want to know which side of the door you think Jesus is standing on. What if Jesus is on the other side of that door doing the knocking? Will we keep Him out too? Jesus turned the water into wine after everybody at the party was already wasted. He hung out with prostitutes and thieves and sinners. It ticked a lot of people off. I’m okay with it, if I hang out with the “wrong” people at the wrong time, and it ticks people off. And it’s not because I want to evangelize them. Because as someone who has been on the other side of that, nobody wants to be you or your church’s pet project. People are looking for genuine relationship. Genuine community. They want to be loved because they are worth loving, not because you want to love them to Jesus or into a church.
I don’t think Jesus is afraid of Halloween. It’s not like this is the one night of the year where His love and power and grace are rendered useless. The gates to the kingdom of Heaven don’t close on Halloween. They aren’t battening down the hatches to keep the devil out because its October 31. The Heavenly Host of angels isn’t calling a prayer meeting to decide how not to let the devil get them on Halloween.
What I hear when people say they don’t want to associate themselves with Halloween is that we need to quit because the devil has won.
God is not big enough for Halloween.
God is not big enough for Halloween?
I beg to differ.
If God cannot use you to love your neighbor on Halloween, or any other day of the year,
your God is too small.
Jesus didn’t hide from people who were taken with the demonic. He healed them. He set them free. One time a bunch of demons begged Jesus to have mercy on them and send them into a herd of pigs instead of the pit of hell. And guess what? Jesus had mercy on the demons. I mean, they probably still ended up in hell anyway. But no matter. They weren’t going to win. They knew it. Jesus knew it. So if Jesus can have mercy on demons for nothing, because who cares about a bunch of demons, how much more mercy does He have for your neighbors?
(This is the part where I’m expecting the ominous Evangelical Right of America to call blasphemy and cast me out of Christendom for all eternity. The way this blog is going today, I will not be surprised. This is also the part where I say, again, that if Halloween triggers trauma or just isn’t right for you and your family, then don’t show up for it. Every family and community is different and you need to discern the right choice based on your own situation. God is big enough to use us all in our spheres of influence with or without Halloween. He doesn’t need Halloween. But He’s not scared of it either.)
No I am not saying we should start packing ouija boards on Halloween. Or ever, for the record.
No I am not saying we ought to pour on the fake blood and hang skeletons from our trees.
I’m just saying, light shines brightest, when the darkness is darkest.
So if you can’t give them candy. And you can’t show them Jesus. And you can’t be nice. Then maybe you should give them potatoes. They might be hungry, regardless of whatever else is going on outside.
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