Monday, November 5, 2007

Halloween 2007

When I was a little girl I always looked forward to Halloween. My brothers and I would plan our costumes weeks in advance, expectantly wait for dark on the 31st of October, and then pile into the family van, pillowcases in tow, which served as makeshift trick-or-treat bags. There was only one condition for our Halloween activities—we were never allowed to wear “scary” costumes. The Tarter children would never be seen as witches, devils, vampires, or any other horror film character. I never understood this as a kid, and hadn’t thought about it in years until this past Wednesday night. It hit me, sadly for the first time, that my parents were protecting me from real evil, evil that I did not understand because I was na├»ve. They knew what I didn’t. The costumes, though they seemed to be mere pieces of fabric, were representing something actual, not pretend like I thought.

On Halloween this year some friends and I dressed up like the Wizard of Oz characters and passed out candy for the annual Halloween on Hillcrest extravaganza in Louisville. Complete with a projector playing the movie and a real life Yellow Brick Road, we were no ordinary endeavor. There were thousands of people, and I realized that I was seeing a very different Halloween than the one I experienced 15 years ago. Not because it has changed and suddenly become more pagan. I just grew up somewhere between being Tinker Belle and the Cowardly Lion.

I saw hundred of little devils, witches, Freddy Krueger’s, and dead prom queens, all who have yet to reach junior high. One of my friends even made the comment that “there is something wrong about a baby being dressed up as a devil.” There is a Prince of Darkness who desires to have the souls of every one of those little devils, witches, and prom queens, and that should make me tremble. The fact that there are toddlers dressed up as pop stars and evil spirits is indicative of a much larger problem than whether or not we celebrate Halloween. We live in a confused world that trivializes evil to the degree that we coo at a baby in a devil costume.

This Halloween was a reminder to me that we are not there yet. We don’t need to go very far to see that. Our neighborhoods are perishing, and the kids in the costumes are a direct reflection of the parents who dress them. There is something seriously wrong with parents who send their daughters out as pre-pubescent Britney Spears. Apart from Christ, we are no different. Though there is room for Christian freedom regarding Halloween convictions, this holiday, like all other holidays, should remind us and incite us to weep and pray for the lost.

And though Halloween is quite different for me than it used to be, I still look forward to it, but for very different reasons. It is a motivation to pray, a motivation to witness, and a motivation to know my neighbors lives. Maybe next year, by the grace of God, we will be able to say that the infant devil has been overcome by the Holy Babe—our Lord, Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

debt said...

It's good to see you write again! Don't wait so long next time. I've missed your wise words. You sure are a cute cowardly lion. Reminds me of the time you were the lion in the school play. Love and miss you!!