Okay, come clean. I know I’m not the only one who has occasionally been annoyed by teens who trick-or-treat on Halloween. Even putting aside their age, all too often they either dress in the goriest costumes or they don’t bother with a costume at all. (I know – there’s just no pleasing me! 🙂 )
But that was before Halloween 2015.
I had an interesting – and unique – experience this past Saturday. It was the evening of Halloween and I was handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters. (Please, no comments about whether we should “encourage” trick-or-treating. That’s a topic for another post.)We have a practice of giving out small goody bags each Halloween. Each baggie contains candy and a Halloween tract – usually a puzzle or quiz that includes the gospel message. This Halloween, fairly early in the flow of trick-or-treaters, four teens rang our doorbell. They were friendly and polite and, as is our practice, I gave each one a goody bag.
So far, nothing out of the ordinary.
But then ordinary exited the scene and extraordinary stepped onstage.
Within a few minutes, the bell chimed again. I opened the door to see the same four teens. Were they there for more candy? Had they been offended by the tract’s gospel message?
Before I could say anything, one of the boys spoke. “We read the tract and liked the gospel message…and we were wondering if we could pray for you as you give these out tonight.”
And so, there on my front porch, one of the teens led us in prayer as we all bowed our heads. He prayed that the children who received the tracts that evening would come to know Christ.
Of course, I asked where they attended church. For those local to Stuart, consider this a shout-out to Covenant Fellowship Church. For them – and for everyone working with children and teens – know that your work is not in vain. The efforts you invest in our youth are paying eternal dividends.
And for the rest of us? It’s much too easy to dismiss an entire generation with the same attitude expressed in this centuries-old quote about terrible teens:
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders…” (attributed to Socrates by Plato).
So glad that on Halloween night, four special teenagers proved otherwise.