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Dancing with the devil...

Ordinarily I am not a fan of Halloween. Why? you may ask. Because it is filled with kids dressing like dying people, dead people, and ghosts of dead people. All in all, a rather morbid concept.

However, this year I really wanted to use the holiday as a chance to connect to our neighbors. Most days we don't talk (let's be honest, we never talk) to our neighbors. But on Halloween, it's like a gimme! (literally, it's a gimme, gimme).

So after talking to Matt and Clayton at church, I approached this Halloween with 2 fresh perspectives:
1) Use Halloween to connect to neighbors and build some small amount of relationship.
2) Use Halloween as a social event. Christmas, Easter, and even Thanksgiving are all friendly holidays, but they can be offensive to non-Christians. (I suppose the 4th of July is a safe one to share, but no one goes door to door). Halloween is an automatic social holiday--almost like a modern day masquerade.

So I spent Wednesday night building a fire at the end of our driveway to attract the walking dead down our dead end street to receive dead candy to put in their dead bags. Katie made some white chicken chili and we invited some friends over to pass out candy with us.

All in all, it was a wet and rainy night which made for few visitors but made for very grateful visitors when they saw the fireplace. Not many connections were made, but the very fact that we were outside welcoming visitors to our street is hopefully drawing a bridge of some sort to our neighbors.

The most interesting part of the night, however, was when two teenage girls came back with their friends. A traveling quartet of trouble: no jackets, little makeup, much candy. One girl had obviously spent a lot of time applying make up to look zombie-esque, while on the other extreme, one girl was dressed like a teenager in a bubble jacket. I generously handed out candy to them (being towards the end of the night) and one of them asked for a drink. I welcomed them all to come inside and grab a drink and some chili. (one girl asked if the chili was poisoned, to which I quickly took a bite explaining that Beelzebub cannot work against himself and drive out his own demons Matt 12:24). They stuck around for 10 minutes or so, talked politics, talked about what they wanted to be when they grew up, and held Isaiah.

All in all, that is the goal of Halloween for me. (Not to get 4 teenage girls in my house), but to show that we are a safe house, a welcoming and warm people that you are free to stop by whenever.

I told the girls about Rel Community and encouraged them to come some Sunday night to hang out. (I tempted them with the promise that youth group is fun, there is pizza, games, and boys). Hopefully some kind of bridge is drawn there. I would love to see one of those self-proclaimed non Christian girls come to know Jesus because they met with a Christian family on a pagan holiday. Go God.

Other highlights:
-"Hey, look at that guy!" kid pointing to me, dressed as a cow, standing 5 feet away from each other. "Which car do you think is mine?" I ask. "Ummmmmmmmm......" long pause, "that one!" Way to go kid.
-Guy dressed in full combat US Army gear who wasn't actually a soldier. I suppose a real soldier wouldn't "dress up" as himself, but then again, I dressed as a cow....
-Burned our wooden privacy fence in order to have wood for our fire pit.

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