"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Trick or Treating in Cheshire

Some 16 years ago, my family and I moved to our present home here in Cheshire, a quiet, middle class subdivision that houses about 80 homes. There have been a few changes over the years, but for the most part, it has not been very transient. However, there have been a few new families to move into the area and with that some younger generations. We now have probably around 20 or so small children that can be seen riding their bicycles, being pulled in a wagon or even strolled on weather-permitting evenings. 

Then comes Trick or Treating. 

Several years ago, after an evening of giving out candy, I came in from the front steps and told my husband we must have had several hundred kids come for a "treat." I'm not sure he believed me and so being the good forester he is, the next year he sat on the front steps with his ticker and "ticked" while I handed out candy. The final tally was just shy of 500.

You can only imagine the hole it puts in one's pocket to hand out that much candy. This year, I tallied the pieces in the store and came home with 497 assorted pieces: Reese Cups, Almond Joys, Kit Kats, Snickers, Skittles, etc, not to mention 3 containers of iced sugar cookies for my "special" treaters, hoping that would get me through most of the evening. In the meantime, a young friend came and helped with my duties, bringing her own bag of candy -- 80 pieces worth.  

By the time the night was over, we had 14 Reese Cups left. Yes, that's 14 out of 577! That's a LOT of trick or treaters, people! And that doesn't even count the parents who are strolling the streets, many in their own costumes. I'm not sure how our neighborhood became the go-to on October 31, but it truly has become the destination place for many. 

This year I had the most fun making over some of the cutest little Elsas and batmans you ever did see. There were twin Minnies, a badminton team, puppy dogs and princesses. Blue Man, Ironman, a football player, a cowgirl and even Jake with State Farm, just to name a few, threatened me with a trick if I didn't cough up the candy. 

Superman had flown in while a little nun runs in.

Will McGehee and his badminton team took the trophy for most original and the one that made me laugh the hardest.

From infants in strollers to some old enough to have kids of their own, they came. Golf carts, pick ups with the tail gates down and even trailers filled with hay were not uncommon sights. 

Yes, 500+ little whirlwinds of joy dancing up and down the street to the sound of "Trick or Treat!" It was pure joy.

In the midst of the flurry, a young princess, maybe 2 years old approached my sidekick and me. But it was not she who garnered my attention, but the creature walking up behind her. No question here: it was Frankenstein himself. A HUGE 7+ foot, green monster. I have never seen such a "look-a-like" in my life that wasn't on the Hollywood screen. I'm telling you, this guy had it going on. I gave the little princess her candy and she ran back to her mother ... and then ... she began walking to Frankenstein. I couldn't help but ask, "Isn't she afraid of him?" To which the mother responded as the child lifted her arms and was swooped into the air by this green monster, "Oh, no. She knows that's her daddy in there."


Have you ever considered that God can be very scary? Think floods. Plagues. Entire cities going up in flames. Think lion dens and lakes of fire. And quite frankly, I really find a dismembered hand writing a death threat on a wall a little unnerving.

But maybe that's the point. Maybe He wants us to fear Him. 1 Chronicles 16:25 certainly backs that up: For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised and he is to be feared above all gods.

Fearing God -- respecting Him -- is a very important part of our relationship with Him. But it's not the whole equation. He also wants us to know Him as our Father. I don't know about you, but my earthly father was my protector, my defender, my provider, as well as my disciplinarian. Not only did I "fear" him but he also allayed my fears because he was my daddy. I knew I could trust him. 

And so it is with my heavenly Father -- and with yours. He's scary alright. But His wrath has been poured out at the cross, and now we can run to him with arms wide open because we know our daddy is in there.

Thanks, little princess. That was a mighty powerful sermon you preached.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”
Psalm 111:10

Just an ordinary moment...