On this week of Halloween (can you believe it’s this Sunday?), I thought it appropriate to chat a bit about costumes.
For as long as I can remember, Halloween and Fall Festivals were a part of my community, even being raised in a Christian family with all of its quirks. We saw Halloween as a time to dress up and take on a character (not unlike acting in a play or musical), a time to let loose and have fun together. At my elementary school, I remember looking forward to the chance to be old enough to volunteer at the annual Fall Festival and work the mermaid booth. I would dress up in a shiny turquoise mermaid costume – complete with giant tail – and welcome younger kids to try and uncover the oysters with the pearls underneath. You might have nostalgic memories of Halloweens when you or your loved ones dressed up and went trick-or-treating. Some costumes were homemade (thanks, Mom!) and others might have been purchased last minute at the store. You might even remember the year you felt too old for the dress-up tradition and, instead, stayed home and either 1) handed out candy or 2) turned off all lights and hid from the loud costumed tots. Haha, it’s a mixed bag.
What is your costume?
I love Halloween’s elements – festivities attached to freedom of expression, having fun together, and celebrating a day with people of all faiths and in all neighborhoods. And, as a teenager, I always wondered toward the end of the night what life would be like on November 1st. Sure, we’d put our costumes away in the closet and wipe the makeup off or wash out the spray hair dye that night. But now what? Do we have to go back to being ourselves, or do we see ourselves in a different light?
I’ll admit, that one year I went as a bag of jelly beans (think clear trash bag with lots of little colorful balloons inside), I had the embarassed memory of not fitting through my school gym’s door. But there was another year when I was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and I felt sparkly in that persona. Another year, I went as Stevie Nicks, strumming a guitar and wearing lots of black lace. I felt powerful and confident, like a rock star who didn’t care too much of what others thought. (Practically, it was a warm outfit on a chilly Boston night.) Then there was the year or two when my mom made themed costumes for us, and I was obviously part of a tribe–we matched and we belonged to each other.
Do you have a memory of a costume that kind of changed you after you wore it? Did it make you feel parts of yourself that you wished you could don every day “in real life?” Costumes can do this, and we had very few opportunities in our US culture where we could put on a mask or play a role before social media came along. Now we can personify a character of who we want the world to see, how we really want to live at our core.
Keeping It 100
“Keep it 100.” It’s a phrase that’s been around a while, implying that each of us keep our speech and actions 100% authentic and real. When someone speaks a truth on social media that you resonate whole-heartedly with, you might respond with a “100” GIF. There’s something so powerful about such a small catchphrase in that it honors the person’s authenticity and also honors the person’s humanity. In a culture that praises the shiny perfection of photoshopped ads and inflated fame, a space to honor their true selves is just wonderful. It’s also pretty godly.
How are you “keeping it 100” with yourself? Where are you honoring the person you were Created as, and how are you honoring the person that you’re becoming? Because you’re a good one, let me tell you.
Mark 12:30 explains “keeping it 100” the best way Jesus knew how to share…Love God with everything, and in turn you’ll love God’s Creation (which includes you!). So costumes are not all bad…it gives us an opportunity to try on something new. Yet, costumes are temporary and your soul is forever. How do you want to live this life?
Just something to think about…
Happy Monday! Join us for Trunk or Treat this Sunday, October 31 at 11:30!
Costume or not, just come!