Many of us will celebrate Halloween with trick-or-treating and a large-scale game of make-believe. I actually love dressing up. Two years ago, my family dressed as the Bug Squad from the Ladybug Girl book series. My youngest, Eleanor, begged for ladybug wings, so naturally, it was the perfect excuse to make it a family affair. And it felt right to take on the world as a squad of bugs after 2020. Of course, I know it was simply an exercise in playing dress up. The core of who we are was unchanged in the costume donning.
I always tell my girls that the candy bowl we offer trick-or-treaters is a larger symbol of sharing bounty and gifts with others. We share because we know that we need not hoard what we think to be ours, that God provides manna every day for those who see, gather, and accept the provision.
When I think of Zacchaeus climbing a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Jesus, I can’t help but think that somewhere in his being he actually wanted to be found. He needed for Jesus to see past his tax collector costume into his heart and soul. Deep inside was a man who knew what the right thing to do was, he simply needed Jesus to help him uncover it. Eventually, Zacchaeus put out his own big bowl of candy and offered handfuls of it at a time, without any reservation. Maybe it is time for us to do the same.
Where do you search for Jesus? What might change if you stopped searching for him and realized that you have finally been found?
God who sought even the selfish tax collector Zacchaeus, remind us that you seek after us too. We are your beloved no matter what masks or costumes we wear. May we remember that you ask us to serve you with our whole selves. Even when we cannot picture what this might look like, you will always be with us to help uncover it. Amen.