My mom wasn’t really into Halloween when I was a kid, but she let us go Trick or Treating. Perhaps she was driven somewhat by fear, which kept us very close to home at all times, so I’m not sure how I ended up at my grandparent’s house three blocks down the street on Halloween Night. My grandparents were old, really old, probably 65. Now I realize that’s not old, but at the time, it was ancient. I was dressed as a hobo. My Granddaddy thought my costume needed some help. He went into the bedroom and came back with a tub of tarlike shoe polish. And began to smear it on my checks so I would have whiskers. I was proud of my ragged hobo look; bundle on a stick carried over my shoulder like a fishing pole, big, torn overalls and even bigger shoes. Now I had whiskers.
But my mom wasn’t happy when I got home. She wanted to know what I had on my face and how it got there. She tried everything to get it off. This is where the story really gets memorable. Nothing worked, so my dad dipped a rag into some turpentine and washed that shoe polish off my tender cheeks. No more whiskers, just bright red, painful cheeks. So glad I had lots of candy to help me forget my pain.
I understand for many of my readers the entire subject of Trick or Treating is a painful! And while I have loved participating in countless Halloween Alternatives, this blog is not about the pro nor the cons of why or why not we should participate in Halloween. However, there is a “fear factor” issue associated with Halloween that I want to address.
I understand practical jokes can be really funny.
Fear is a scary thing.
That’s a profound thing to say! But the truth is fear is an UN-welcomed emotion that can scare you silly. Fear comes in all sizes and shapes.
It wears all kinds of faces:
- Angry, red faced, puffed cheeked bullies—a fear I can appreciate;
- Lizards-sorry, a fear I just don’t understand. Why would I be afraid of anything I can kill with a broom? Does that make me sound like a witch? Sorry! I know. I know. Bad joke.
But the truth is… fear really does scare me– because I’ve seen it’s aftermath.
I’ve seen fear’s carnage. Dead dreams. Broken spirits.
People cowering when they should be standing.
I’ve seen people nurse and feed their FEAR like a mama does her precious baby. Only fear isn’t precious and it grows when you feed it!
Some so unreal they are almost laughable except when you see the consequences of those fears. Fear stuns and stops. Fear drains our dreams and sidetracks our progress toward change or freedom.
- Fear kills.
- Fear steals.
- Fear isolates.
- Fear is magnet.
- Fear is a maggot. Is that too gross? I sorta like gross things sometimes, but definately not the gross things I see on the Fear Factor Commercials, like eating maggots. Sorry, that’s even grossing me. Yes, I got sidetracked.
- Fear of failure, keeps us from attempting weight loss or a new career.
- Fear of criticism keeps us from doing the right thing or saying the right thing.
- Fear lock people in their homes, locks people out of their lives and locks out hope.
They just don’t eat at the same table. And the sad thing about fear is even after you stop feeding it; it is still growing and still robbing. Silently? Perhaps?
Fear doesn’t leave when you ignore it.
It waits. It waits silently until just the moment when you’re not expecting anything and then it jumps into your face and knocks you down. A more descriptive picture is that of a boa constrictor, slowly, confidently winding. Wrapping. Tighter. Tighter…until the end. The end of your dreams…your efforts…your hope.
Fear doesn’t leave until you face it and evict it.
1 John 4:18 Amplified Version There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!
Psalms 34:4 nkjv “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.”
Both verses sound like an eviction notice to me.
In Psalms 56:3 NLT we see another key to overcoming fear. “But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
- Receiving and Knowing God’s Love
Easy to say, but challenging to live out. That’s where our relationship with Him comes into action. We lean into His ability to do what we cannot do. He gives us His strength!
I’m so thankful for Jesus!