Last Friday was Halloween. For those of you who live in the midwest, you will recall that we experienced the first snow fall of the season and the weather was horrible. There was even sleet and it was really inconvenient for the little kids to go from door to door with the traditional “trick or treat” mantra. Janet and I were really looking forward to the evening. After all, we are in a new home and we had no idea how many kids may be walking up to the door looking for treats.
This is especially true because for the last 12 years we have not had even one trick or treater. Our last neighborhood was something of a retirement community and when we moved in, Janet and I really thought that we could spend the rest of our lives there. But we missed having a regular neighborhood and as was evidenced by the fact that we didn’t have any Halloween traffic, you can see how the neighborhood was a little out of the mainstream.
Anyway, this Halloween, even in spite of the bad weather, blowing snow and frigid temperatures, we had almost 70 kids come up to the door. Janet and I sat in the front room so we could see people approaching and since she has been a little under the weather, I did the honors of passing out the treats. We had a great time – especially with the real little kids who were accompanied by their parents holding umbrellas to keep the rain and snow off the costumes. One group of trick or treaters really impressed me. They came up to the door dressed in costumes and when I opened the door to pass out the candy, they politely declined – asking me to save the candy for younger kids. These two young teenagers were on a mission – collecting donations for Riley Children’s Hospital here in Indianapolis. We gladly participated in the fund raising. After all, one of our grandsons has had surgery at Riley and we are most grateful for the care that he received.
There was another thing that really impressed me. Every child – and I mean every one – thanked me for the treats that we provided. Some were with their parents – but the majority were alone; yet, thank you’s were abounding. I don’t think that I have ever seen anything like it. We were really impressed. I hope that next year goes as well!
So while the weather dealt a real “trick” to those in costumes, we received a real “treat” with the polite behavior of all our guests. The Scripture is full of examples of both good and poor behavior. It’s usually an eye for an eye – but tonight is about treating people well. There is a verse in 1 Sam. that drives the point home. We are told, in 1 Sam. 24:19, “When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today.” In other words, unexpected favor is something that God rewards.
My encouragement this evening is that every once in a while, it feels good to do something unexpected. In fact, at church Saturday evening, I bought a stranger a cup of coffee and he actually followed me through the church to thank me and introduce himself to me. It turns out that he was introduced to me twelve years ago through a mutual friend at church, Rich. I hadn’t remembered him. Another example of a small world. My prayer is that you will surprise somebody with kindness and unexpected favor. Not only will it be appreciated, but you will get a thrill out of it as well. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…