We all know that Halloween is not what it used to be.
I hate the scary stuff and the gloomy graveyard decor but there are some fun parts.
I got a kick out of seeing all the librarians dressed up as Scooby-doo folks, and I love seeing little superheroes and princesses around town.
Every Halloween, I laugh out loud remembering one little guy at my door years ago, trick-or-treating, dressed up as the cutest little clown you ever saw, the clip-on nose, painted frown, and a wig of red yarn hair.
When I opened the door, he gave me a loud “RO-OAAR!!! I’m a LION!” he announced.
You gotta love it.
Coincidentally, this week of journal perusing I found the following story.
Wednesday pm, August 19, 2009
I do not think I can carry on in this remote, lonesome Africa . . . where I am fat and ugly and alone and unloved. I know the Enemy is accusing me and I am agreeing. I just want to lay down and never get up.
Jesus, please help me.
Thursday am, August 20
Last night I’d read the Daily Light and found no comfort. I turned off the light and lay down in my pain, sorrow and self-pity. How will the Lord deliver me? I am so alone. I just want to get away from here.
Then I felt Him say, “Where would you rather be? Can you look at just this moment? Your comfy bed. Your little cabin in the big woods in Africa.”
Ok, I thought, right in this moment there is nowhere else I’d rather be than here in my nice bed, listening to the night sounds, the campers singing, chanting something . . . hey, wait, it’s late. I wonder why they are still up . . .
The chanting got louder and louder and then it was at our door. What is going on? I couldn’t understand but then heard these words repeated, “Mama Sarah! Jake Lion!”
Then I recognized H’s voice calling in English, “Open the door. Bring us candy. Bless you, Mama Sarah. Amen. Bless you, Jake Lion. Amen.”
It was so great. And today I found it was a custom, something children do in the city, sing while pounding rhythm with sticks, chanting blessings to houses while asking for candy.
We have lived here for two years and I never heard of it – but the very moment I needed to get out of my self-pity bed, God sent H. and the camp staff to literally call me out.
Thank you, Lord, for that special gift!
Isn’t God creative?
Sending a spontaneous Ethiopian Halloween group to my house . . . it was brilliant.
But actually the custom is about New Year’s. The day is called hoya hoye when children go from house to house in their neighborhood to express their good wishes for the upcoming New Year, which in Ethiopia is in September.
After they finish the blessings, they will be awarded with homemade breads or money, or candy, which is what our camp staff demanded.
Instead of trick-or-treat, it is blessing-and-treat.
I remember the joy of listening to the blessings spoken that dark night, H. leading and the rest answering their Amen!
‘Bless you, Mama Sarah. Bless your house.’ ‘Amen!’
‘Bless your father and your mother.’ ‘Amen!’
‘Bless your sisters and your brothers.’ ‘Amen!’
‘Bless your father’s brothers and sisters.’ ‘Amen!’
‘Bless your mother’s mother and father.’ ‘Amen!’
‘Bless your children.’ ‘Amen!’
‘Bless your children’s children.’ ‘Amen!’
‘Bless your son’s son’s son’s son . . .’ and on it went.
You gotta love it.
I sure did.