Lights On, Door Open

ghostHalloween has become a sensitive topic for Christians. The desire to distance themselves from the pagan and demonic images of Halloween in popular culture, have led many Christians to turn off their lights, lock their doors, and head to the nearest gathering of other Christians for a Fall Festival. I don’t have kids but I can imagine the opposing pressures Christian parents face this week are daunting. I would never presume to prescribe the “correct Christian response to Halloween.” However, as a follower of Jesus, Halloween has become one of my favorite holidays.

Once a year, all the invisible fences in my neighborhood drop. Once a year, my neighbors proudly parade their children to our front door to laugh, share, connect, and marvel at the cuteness of their kids. There is no EASIER chance we have to connect with our neighbors and to demonstrate LOVE to our neighborhood than on this one day. This Thursday (even if it rains) our lights will be on and our door will be open. We will give out candy, the best stuff we can afford. We will engage with the people who come to our door, ask good questions, and listen well. We will work to learn names and most of all we will LAUGH. Kids (and parents) in costume offer plenty of great reasons to express holy JOY!

Normally I can’t stand it when strangers come to my door. Several times a month strangers in pairs come to our door. It seems they never live in our neighborhood but have wandered in looking for converts to their brand of security system, lawn service, magazine subscription or religion. It seems they are always in costume (uniforms, suits, dresses, and hats that seem out of place for a stroll through my ‘hood). It’s one of the reasons I have always resisted the door-to-door visits that are common in my religious tribe. They feel like a spiritual sales call and while they have been effective for some I personally struggle to stomach them.

But this Thursday I can’t wait for people to come to our door. We will watch the shadows for movement and listen close for the approaching giggle of costumed children. I might even tie a paper ghost to my RC helicopter and fly it around the yard. If you’re looking for a friendly smile and a generous spirit – our lights will be on and our door will be open.

4 Responses to “Lights On, Door Open”

  1. Sandy Minor Says:

    Well said my sweet nephew-in-law! Good food for thought. There is no doubt in my mind that if Jesus walked the earth in His physical body tonight, HIS lights would be on and HIS door would be open.:)

  2. Cheryl Says:

    Your Aunt Sandy shared your blog with me. Excellent thoughts. I happily shared your blog link on my FB acct. Thank you!

  3. Carol T Says:

    Hey James, this place knows how to celebrate every single holiday. Boo parade last night, another one tonight, and festivities on the bayou tonight, VooDoo Fest at City Park! Oh yeah! One year come this way!

  4. Catherine Thiele Says:

    I hope you and S. has as much fun as we did last night. Our last visitor was one Kenbe (Batman). I like the way you write! Still enjoying the cd.

Leave a Reply