all hallows e’en

Our God,

Tonight, the children dress up.
May they take great delight
in the exercise of their imaginations
and find joy in their creativity.
May they share
in the excitement of make believe
with family and friends.
May they be safe,
and may treats bring them sweet pleasure.

May candles’ flickering lights
and carved pumpkins’ jumping shadows
be spooky enough to lend their thrilling chill,

and may even those
who choose the frightful and the excessively gory,
remind us, amidst the fun,
that yes, there are deep and profound fears
out there to acknowledge,

and that ultimately, after the festivities of the holiday,
it’s best not to dress ourselves
as what we don’t want to be
or encounter,
but to dress ourselves in love,
and to thus confront our fears,
in as many ways as is possible,
other than they are.

So for the fun tonight
and for the truth of our living,
may we walk with You,
knowing then as we dart
up to the porches of both friends
and strangers and strangeness,
through fun and adventure
and through sights and sounds of horror and terror—
the very stuff of nightmares,
You wait on the sidewalk,
and we are not alone.

Amen.

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