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Faith Filled Friday – An Unexpected Spirit

October 31, 2015

I wrote this Halloween story over twenty years ago and happened to come across it while I was looking for a different story that I had filed earlier this week to use today. (Since I couldn’t find it, you’re stuck with this one. I wanted to blend faith with Halloween for today’s post.) This story is based on true events; naturally the names have been changed.

Having lived in small towns where Trick or Treating was done with walking around a few blocks, it was a bit of a shock when we moved to a rural community. I expected that meant driving  the kids around the neighborhood–driving in the dark in a new area, along with the usual uncertainty about the safety of the candy. When I heard that the local shopping mall merchants were offering balloons and treats I thought it was the ideal solution. Hoping to get better acquainted with the mother of my youngest son’s friend, I invited her and her four other children to go with us.
I worked the night shift and had to take Halloween night off so we would not be rushed. I managed to get four hours sleep before having to buy groceries, run a load of laundry and shop for camo make-up for Shawn’s camouflage costume.
Allan, my fifteen year old, had his learner’s permit and wanted to drive. I thought that was a lovely idea since I was already tired. We arrived at the Parker house promptly at six o’clock. Eagerly Shawn pounded on the door.
The door opened just far enough for the slim form of Mrs. Parker to ease through. “We’re not going.” Her announcement took me by surprise. She had sounded so excited about the outing over the phone.
My first thought was how disappointed her kids were going to be. Before I had a chance to think anything else, she added, “But the boys are ready.” Suddenly the door burst open and all four boys charged into my car.
I wanted to scream. No! You can’t do this to me. I’m already worn down to a frazzle.
How was I going to manage seven active boys all alone? Hers ranged in age from five to thirteen. My two oldest ones were fifteen and seventeen. That still left five small ones for me. Falsely cheerful, I smiled, “We’ll be back by eight.” Her door quickly closed before I finished my sentence.
Wanting to pound on the door and yell at her to take her kids back, I remembered my first thought about their disappointment, especially five-year-old Roman. I was hurt and mad, but didn’t want to take it out on the kids. It wasn’t their fault.
Was I a fool or a sucker for falling into their snare? I half believed she had decided from the start that she would not go. The other half, my Christian side, was trying to convince me I was doing a good deed.
While my son drove to the mall I argued with myself. My two older sons were going this year only because it was at the mall. They were more interested in seeing the girls. I didn’t have enough energy to argue for long and said a quick prayer.
By the time we reached the crowded mall, I had decided it was probably difficult for Paul and Tammy to find a babysitter for four active boys. They would probably enjoy this time alone, a few hours of peace. God granted me the unexpected spirit of forgiveness and our adventure at the mall went surprisingly well.

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