I love fall. As weather begins to cool and leaves begin to litter the ground, I always find myself feeling excited for the change. Growing up in south Louisiana, I became used to heat and humidity, so any change from that constant is most welcome.
Another reason I love fall is because of Halloween. Granted, I never went trick-or-treating as a kid; Fall Festivals took precedence. But I always loved the Halloween season. I’m not sure why, but darker themes and spooky stories have always captivated me, even in the days when I was too scared to actually watch the stories on tv. I’ve long been intrigued by the mystery that comes with the unknown, and, in writing, I try to capture that mystery when I write poetry or fiction. The problem is that I’m not very good at it.
For instance, one of my favorite authors is Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve long enjoyed his poetry for both its structured rhythms as well as its eerie content, and I’ve held his short stories in high regard for much the same reason. But when I try to write in the same style, I hit a problem: I can’t write unhappy endings. Even when I succeed at creating a work that touches the mystery and creepiness for which I’m aiming, I finish the work with a touch of hope or with a way of escape.
I’ve wondered about this, and I think I’ve determined the primary factor at work in these situations: the gospel. You see, the good news of the Bible is that no sinner is without hope if he will repent of his sin and believe in Jesus. No darkness is too deep for the light of the world to penetrate. And when the sinner trusts in the savior, he then can never be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Indeed, there are no situations where darkness overcomes the light.
So as I write, I don’t see hopeful endings as hindrances to the art. Rather, I remember that Christ has saved and that none are beyond his reach. I remember that no case is utterly hopeless, for no man’s sin can exceed God’s grace. And I rest in the knowledge that no matter how deep the darkness may become, the light will always pierce through. Because of Jesus, there is always hope. May we remember him this season and hope in such a great God.
2 thoughts on “Halloween and Hope”
Joe, I have grown up sort of feeling the opposite about this season. I love fall and October (birthday!), and of course I love cooler temps, but growing up I always had a sense of fear surrounding Halloween. There was always a bit of unease in my spirit when I started seeing ghoul and goblin costumes and decorations in the store. But in the last couple of years, I have learned to feel differently about it. I still don’t enjoy the scary costumes or general feeling of darkness. I don’t believe God loves Halloween, especially knowing the very bad things that occur around that time. But I have not felt scared, because I know in the midst of the darkness, there is hope. God isn’t conquered during the Halloween season- his light can never be extinguished. So now, during the Halloween season, I pray that people who don’t know the Light will find it and be saved from darkness forever.
P.S. The Masque of the Red Death is my favorite. The imagery is so wonderful!
LikeLiked by 1 person
For sure! Evil often appears more powerful than it actually is. But when we begin to see how great God is, any lesser force pales in comparison.