Not a Trick and More Than a Treat

23 09 2017

I can understand the people’s skepticism; opening the door on a dark October night to see two teenage boys standing there, one holding a plain brown paper bag, “Trick or Rock _nTreat!” It goes without saying we got a lot looks from people seeing we were over the normal age of youngsters going door to door for Halloween candy; I’m guessing being donned in regular street clothes and not costumes didn’t help our case either. I’d say one in four closed the door in our faces sending us away empty handed, still by the end of the night we had a pretty good haul and happy with our efforts. But the candy wasn’t for us so let me explain.

When my friend Larry called to ask if I wanted to go trick or treating with him, I thought he was joking. At our age Halloween was more for going to a teen party or something more mischievous like decorating someone’s house and yard with rolls of TP. Larry, though, was on another mission. His little sister was home sick and wouldn’t be able to go out and collect candy. She had talked excitedly about this night for two weeks; now all she could do was lay in bed with her costume and be sad at her situation. “I feel so bad for her, so I’m going to go around collecting candy to give her when I get back home. Really didn’t want to do it by myself, would you mind going with me?” Oh, what the heck. I didn’t have anything planned that important, and I guess all the rolls of TP I had hidden could be put to better use!

The first house we visited gave a taste of what was ahead. The woman at the door looked on us suspiciously as Larry told why we were doing this; rather reluctantly she dropped a couple of pieces of candy in the bag; we thanked her and moved on. We met numerous with the same reaction as Larry explained his reason at each place we stopped. There were a couple of places that gave looks that said, “Yeah, right, sure you are!” and then closed the door leaving us empty handed. Surprisingly there were quite a number of folks that not only believed the story they complimented Larry on what he was doing for his little sister, some even threw extra goodies in the bag. Even though my role was just to be a tagalong, I was proud to be there to see those positive responses and even more proud of my friend, Larry. Seeing the smile on his face told me his heart and mind were back at his house with a little girl lying in a sickbed dressed as a fairy princess.

The evening was cold and it felt like we walked ten miles, so I was glad when we called it a night and headed back  to his place. There was no reason for me to go in. We said our goodbyes as I watched him walk up the steps to his porch and disappear into the house. Before turning to head home I noticed a light come on in a backroom and I could see Larry’s silhouette through the drawn shades. Reaching down he was handing his sister the bag of candy. Only a few short seconds and a little fairy princess was bounding up on the bed and jumping into Larry’s arms. Three words kept circling in my mind as I made the trek home, “Yeah, that’s love.”

Mother Teresa once said, “Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.” I imagine they could have bought her a bag of candy, or the other kids in the family that went our trick or treating probably would have shared their take with her. Larry wanted to do something more, not because he took pity on her at being sick, but out of love for his little sister. As the saying goes, “Larry, you had one job to do, and you nailed it!”

I haven’t seen Larry now in 40 years, and I wouldn’t know his baby sister if she passed me on the street. But their memory came flooding back to me this week and I wanted to get it down before it was gone again. To let you in on a little secret many of my stories are written like that. So when this happens, I generally ask God if there’s some reason for the memory and mostly the answer is yes. In the matter of Larry and the Little Princess, I see it as a reminder not only to tell others that I love them, but to show them that love. Not to blow my own horn; but I do this often with my family and some close friends and it truly does bring me enjoyment.

Recent events with the hurricanes have left hurting and caring for people I don’t even know in places like Texas, Florida, the Virgin Island, Puerto Rico along with other Caribbean Islands. I’ve been praying for these dear souls constantly, but I’ve been left with the question of what else can I do to show I care, to show I love them. Thankfully the Good Lord has opened doors for my Lady and me to do a little more, contribute in some way. I could tell how but that’s something I believe each must search for themselves. I hope and pray each will give this consideration.

My friend Larry and fellow “Traveler of the Rock Road” will never know how much his act of love touched my heart, and that’s okay. But I believe God orchestrated that moment for a dual purpose. First of course, for Larry to show his love for this sister; the second to be a reminder, to me, of what it means to be a follower of Christ which I’ll leave you with by citing two verses, simple but rich in meaning.

Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

1 Corinthians 16:14 “Do everything in love.”

See ya next time.


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