I dressed my kids hurriedly this morning in their costumes. They rushed out the door elated to show off their wild threads to their classmates and teachers. This year Zadie is Repunzel and Daxx is a “black ninja with a red ‘X’ on his chest”… and both were beaming as the surveyed their transformations in the mirror before jolting out the door.
A part of me LOVES Halloween. I am not sure why… maybe because for one evening out of the year, I get a taste of “community”. I see children running carelessly through the streets, adults walking alongside in groups, talking and laughing, the sun setting as we circle blocks and wave hello to neighbors. For one night the walls of politics are broken down, family drama set aside, religious disputes tabled; neighbors become friends and communities are brought together with one purpose… the children.
It is ironic (don’t you think)… that the night we encourage community is the same night we teach our children to pretend to be someone they are not. The idea that it is fun to talk to our neighbor when we wear a mask, or it’s normal to laugh and wave hello when we are donning a costume. All of this in comparison to the other 364 days of the year, when we keep our distance, make conversations short and avoid contact at all cost….
Confusing… even for me.
Friends let this be the year we are intentional as we experience community with our neighbors. Pull back the curtain of anonymity and introduce yourself to the ones you live life around. Take off the mask of pride and perfection and give a REAL “hello, how are you?”. Let us leave the comfort of car-window-waves and Tuesday-morning-trash-rituals and get to know our neighbor so that we can love them.
And as we walk, remember to pray; pray for those you see and those you don’t. As we see our neighbors through the lens of grace we are able to truly “be the change” in our community. I feel like we are fooled into thinking a smile and conversation isn’t significant, but honestly this was all Jesus did in His ministry. He never started non-profits, or wrote books, or initiated movements… He paused and engaged… and so can we.