After a friendly email convo with a friend, who was challenging our reasons for trick-or-treating (posted here), I headed out to the neighborhood with my little morph man. As I chatted with old friends, met new neighbors, and smiled at cute little mice, princesses, crayons and iphones–who were only more than happy to give me the 360 view of their costumes–I was even more settled in my convictions on the matter.
I want our family to be as engaged in our community as we can! If there’s a harmless, fun event in our neighborhood or at our school, I want for us to be there! Otherwise, we’re hiding our light under a bushel, right?
These were the thoughts rolling around in the back of my head as I huddled under an umbrella talking to a couple of moms from down the street. But suddenly, our conversation was interrupted as a kid, who looked an awful lot like mine, whizzed past.
I wondered aloud about this, and another mom said, “Oh, didn’t you see? When we were at your house, one of your other kids went up and emptied half of your candy into his bag, and I think that one is trying to get it back!”
I glanced around the porches nearby, looking for my candy thief and found him right under someone’s porch light, proudly displaying the ‘morphsuit’ logo on his behind, which his shorts were designed to cover up. When I called to him and said to pull up his pants, he giggled, “But, mom! They keep pants-ing me!”
Oh, yes. We are out here just shining the light of Jesus, aren’t we?
You know, as I get a little older and look back at the younger version of myself, I don’t think people were drawn to Jesus as I thought, when I projected a plastic version of myself. And back then, when my kids were little, it was far easier to pull off making it seem like our little family was polished and had it together.
Now, my kids are more independent. They aren’t buckled in. And when they go whizzing through the neighborhood chasing their candy-thief siblings, I can’t even catch them! Or too tired to try.
But I’ve found that people don’t like plastic, perfect people. They are far more open to listening when I humbly admit my flaws (as I commonly do on this blog!), and then point to the Light of the World–who faithfully reveal to me the darkness in my own heart, and shines a light on the path I should take.
Whether you went trick-or-treating last night or not, if you are a Christian, Jesus wants you to shine a light. You won’t do it perfectly. But your job isn’t to be a perfect example. Only Jesus could do that. And only you can do the job of shining His light in your little corner of the world.