My oldest daughter was about two when my eyes opened to Halloween’s dark truth. Up to that point, I loved Halloween. It was like an extension to my birthday which falls two days before. Costumes, candy, the Haunted Forest – delightful seductions I fully enjoyed. Yet, those chills and thrills lingered in my spirit long past the day.
I’ll never forget that morning. A single mom at the time, I spent a harried morning trying to get my girls ready to drop off at the babysitters. I had to get to the beauty school where I trained to be a cosmetologist. Lateness breathed down my neck as I grabbed the baby out of her car seat, snagged my toddler’s hand, and rushed up the sidewalk to the sitter’s front door.
A hard tug on my hand pulled me to a stop. I glanced down at my daughter irritation coursing through me. I had no time for mischief. Her face shocked the words away before I could utter them. Stark terror etched her features in a mask of horror. White knuckles drained the feeling from my hand as the blood leached from her skin.
I whipped around intent on defending her from WHAT I didn’t know. I couldn’t see anything that would make her so scared. I tugged gently, encouraging her to keep moving towards the door. She wouldn’t budge, started pulling harder, panic filling her eyes. She started to sob and point. Her eyes implored understanding.
I searched around completely at a loss. And then I saw it. Ghosts and skeletons twisting from the neck as they hung from the tree in a bizarre scene reminiscent of hangings of old. Cobwebs and spiders in giant form as if WE were miniaturized somehow. Witches brewing in grotesque charm while black cats looked on. Somewhere the sounds of hauntings and cackles echoed through the macabre scene. I saw Halloween through the eyes of a child.
For the first time, I saw death and evil glorified. And I have not been the same. I can’t NOT see anymore. Sometimes I wished I could. We’d try alternatives. But my spirit whispered compromise. Compromise with evil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
I read a post this morning over on Blessed Beyond a Doubt called Will You HIDE or Celebrate Jesus by Engaging in Activities for Halloween? I found the post intriguing, and the conversation both in the comments and on her Facebook page thought provoking. I don’t believe her intent is to be harsh towards Christians who don’t celebrate Halloween. However, the post and comments beg some questions. Should Christians spread God’s light by participating in this holiday? Is this an important opportunity for outreach? Or is that a deception? These are questions I’m asking, too.
Here’s my comment on her Facebook post:
“I don’t hide or choose to celebrate Halloween. I often fail, but I try to allow God’s light to shine through each and everyday. Sometimes in my failings, others still see Him. His grace. I don’t need a holiday as an outreach opportunity, I simply need to listen for each and every opportunity because He will bring about God appointments. This is a very thought-provoking conversation (here and on your blog), and I look forward to reading more. I’ve had a post stirring in my heart regarding Halloween, too. I’ve put off writing it since I’m sick, but perhaps the words will come anyway.”
Let’s ponder those questions:
Should Christians spread God’s light by participating in this holiday? Yes, we should spread God’s light. Always. Our very lives should shine His light into the darkness around. Even on Halloween. However, I don’t need to celebrate this holiday to accomplish that. I simply need to press in, and allow Him to lead my life.
Is this an important opportunity for outreach?
I believe ministry happens as God brings divine appointments. Whether I speak before a crowd, or hand a homeless man a cheeseburger. I don’t seek out ministry. I don’t make it happen. Instead, I try to be obedient to what God lays on my heart. Will I use Halloween as an Outreach? No. Will I reach out on Halloween. Most definitely, yes. I will follow where the Holy Spirit leads me. Do I know what this will look like? Nope. I don’t have to know the what, why, where, who, when or how. I simply have to obey. Trust me, obeying is enough for me to focus on – stubborn self that I am.
Or is that a deception? I’ve read accounts from people once trapped in a lifestyle of witchcraft. They are confused and grieved to see Christians participating in what was once an important Holy Day for them. As someone who has dabbled her toes in the occult, I know how they feel. We are deceived if we don’t think there is a spiritual battle going on around us. Read Daniel 10 for an example. Evil is real. The world is watching us, and how we deal with this evil.
This post has been stirring in my heart for a week. I honestly didn’t want to write it. Still don’t in a way. But my spirit won’t rest. I know this won’t be popular, and I know some of you won’t like it. My heart grieves knowing this. But I’m called to please God not man even though my heart still craves man’s approval. So know this: I write this to share MY story. MY heart. MY conviction. I still love you no matter what you choose for you, and your family. I ask only that you agree to disagree while keeping God’s love here between us. And I welcome differing opinions and thoughts on my blog.