Last night was Hallowe’en. One of the knocks at the door was from a large teenager, no costume, with pillow case in hand. I’m sure I looked a little surprised at his presence in my doorway… he did seem a bit old for the trick-or-treat game.
“I’m trick or treating for my little brother, who is sick” he said in explanation at my puzzled expression.
Uh huh. Is that right?, I thought with huge doubts in my mind. Seriously, this is kinda what I had in mind:
I hesitatingly handed over a treat to the outstretched pillow case, wondering if I should withhold out of principle…. I just couldn’t be sure this guy was telling the truth. I had visions of him going home, laughing gleefully at how many home owners had swallowed his lie wholeheartedly, while wolfing down handfuls of chocolate.
Then today, I had a sudden thought about him. What if he had been telling the truth? The poor guy was likely subjected to many doubts and naysayers along his route as he repeated his reason for being on the doorstep, pillowcase in hand. He was likely scoffed at behind closed doors, subjected to ridicule, really. All for the sake of his little brother. He took it on though. He faced the doubt, the ridicule, the naysayers, the people who accused him of being a liar behind his back (or perhaps to his face!). He did it for love.
Isn’t this what we are called to as well in the world? To face those who doubt us, who scorn us, who persecute us because of our message and to bravely hold out our love or our words, despite the reception we might get?
If this guy can trick or treat for his sick brother despite facing ridicule and doubt, we need to be brave in our own attempts at sharing Jesus with others. It’s not just a matter of gettin’ some candy for a sick brother…
1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.