The street was dark. There were no streetlights. The only lights were the front porch lights of the homes that were handing out candy. It was 1968. I was walking alone on Halloween. I was ten.
The man was sitting in an armchair in his living room. It was the only light on in his house. His front porch light was turned off. He wasn’t handing out candy. His back was to the street and his curtains in the front picture window were pulled back. This window was like a screen in a movie theatre. Bright and easy to see in the darkness. I stood and stared at him.
He couldn’t see me. If he looked outside he would have only seen a reflection of himself against black.
It was hard to see the sidewalk in front of his house. I didn’t know Jesus, I only went to church at Christmas and Easter. I knew this man went to church. Why isn’t he being nice to me? Why doesn’t he want to put on his light so I can see where I am walking. He is not nice to children. His God is not nice.
I got a rock.
― Charlie Brown
My childhood is a series of picture memories. I don’t remember what I ate for breakfast on October 31st, 1968, but I remember how I felt walking alone at night on October 31st, 1968. I didn’t want to know more about his God. The God who didn’t like children. The God who didn’t care that I couldn’t see where I was walking.
Tonight, I will turn on my front porch light. There will be candy for the children in my neighborhood. We will be generous. We have an M and M full of candy by our front door.
I have been like the man sitting in his picture window in 1968. What was the right way to celebrate? Should I hand out candy? Is the holiday bad?
In Illinois we turned out our lights and hid in the back of the house. We didn’t hand out candy. In Minnesota, we turned out our lights and watched movies in the basement. We didn’t hand out candy. Then we started to attend a Harvest party at a local church on October 31st. There was still candy, but it was at church. In California we lived on a rural road and no one came to our house. There was no one to give candy to; we went to a Harvest Party at a church in Santa Cruz. They gave our candy.
Now in Pennsylvania, I turn on my front porch light, wear a costume and hand out candy.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I wonder what Jesus would do if He lived in my neighborhood? I think he would have a large bowl of candy and a glass of living water for each child. He would not turn out his lights and hide in the back of his house.
Will you turn on your lights? Will you give candy to children? Please tell me in the comments.
Give candy, not rocks.
Here are recent articles on Halloween
The Hypocrisy of Halloween by Lisa Hall-Wilson
Why Christians Should Celebrate Halloween by Ken Eastburn
Satan’s Birthday: A Brief Discussion on Halloween and Christianity by Brandon Ambrosino and Brandon G. Withrow