Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our First Celebrity Guest!

When you write a blog, it seems to be a "thing" to have a guest blogger write your post occasionally.  I've never really understood the reasoning behind it.  Is it some kind of cross-marketing gimmick to get readers to check out the guest blogger's website?  Is it because the real blogger went on vacation and doesn't want to leave those faithful readers hanging?  I don't know.  As I said, I don't get it. 

But, since I'm in charge here, and I don't really think it will upset the faithful readers (all four of you), I decided to bring you a guest blogger!!  So trendy.  We're on the cutting edge here at Amy Finds the Joy. 

Earlier this week, someone sent me a lovely little piece about pumpkins, which I instantly recognized as the perfect opportunity to bring you thought-provoking blog material while I take Halloween evening off to go trick-or-treating with the kids.  So, here you have it.  The very first Guest Blogger at AFTJ....My Dad. 

Every year they come; every year it is the same.  Dressed in their best clothes, arriving shortly after the end of Sunday worship, the small children of my church fill my country garden like so many overdressed, miniature manikins.  Here, they search diligently, each looking for their Halloween pumpkin.

Each Fall we practice this Autumnal ritual.  I invite the children to my little country garden in order to choose a pumpkin for their jack-o-lantern.  Each Fall they come, and search, and choose.  How they make their choices is a secret hidden in the unspoken thoughts of each child.  Often parents try to influence the choice, but the children reject this parental advice.  Today it is their turn to make choices, even if those choices do not parallel parental persuasions.

 Children do not search the field for perfectly shaped or perfectly colored pumpkins.  Such pumpkins are readily available at the local supermarket, where the pumpkins are larger, and rounder, and oranger than mine.  Here, in the country garden, the children seek not a pumpkin to be admired, but a pumpkin to be loved.

Some children choose a pumpkin they can easily hold in their diminutive hands.  Some choose one that is oddly shaped, even grotesquely twisted and formed.  Sometimes a pumpkin fails to turn orange at all, and the greenness of the sphere is the apparent attraction to the child.  Color is less important than character!  True wisdom reigns in the country field, as it frequently does  in the mind of a child!

Something there is that becomes the magnetic attraction between child and fruit of the vine.  Something adults do not understand at all. Foolish grownups.

 Stereotypical pumpkins are bright orange, severely round, and perfectly balanced.  These pumpkins are loved simply for what they are, and perhaps for the comfort a child feels in knowing that the one they have chosen is unique.

Each Fall they come and choose.  They hover over their choices. They love what they have chosen not because the choices fit any stereotype at all, but merely because they are the choice of the child, and therefore accounted worthy.

 How much like God is the mind of the child, where color, or size, or shape are not important.  Here in the mind of the child as in the mind of God, stereotypes are ignored; the overlooked become the loved ones, and the imperfect become the chosen ones.

Some say that Halloween is the Devil’s holiday.  It is not so.  Rather, the origins of Halloween are in the remembrance of the day as being the eve of All Saints Day, the day when the Christian church celebrates the love of God poured upon all God’s people, no matter their color, or shape, or condition.  How much of this theology the children express in my country field each year!  By the choices they make I am reminded that the chosen of God are loved not for their personal perfection, but simply because God has chosen to love them.

Copyright 2013.  Robert J. Grosch

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