By JENNIFER BURGIN
Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Halloween 1994 - Fall semester of my junior year at Texas A&M University. My sorority sponsored a Trick or Treat for Canned Foods to benefit a local food pantry. We were encouraged to dress up in costumes and knock door-to-door in neighborhoods around College Station.
I remember wearing a bumble bee costume with a black leotard and coordinating yellow/black striped wings. I was still trying to lose my "Freshman 15" weight, so I felt conscientious about my figure. Fortunately, my sorority sisters said I looked absolutely adorable: Cute as a Honey Bee!
At first, I thought the mission of "harvesting" canned food from the neighborhood was a silly idea. I quickly changed my mind when one home after the next donated boxes full of pantry food! In fact, we received so many "Thank-yous" for our volunteer efforts. Home owners looked surprised to see college students more interested in feeding the hungry than flirting with fraternity brothers at a Halloween party. Some people even handed us Smarties, Twizzlers, Snickers, and M&Ms as we continued our route through the evening drizzle and chill.
I felt like a humble honey bee after collecting so many cans of vegetables, soups, and SpaghettiOs. I totally underestimated the generosity of people. Even though we were no longer little girls dressed up like Cinderella or Tinker Bell, holding our mommy or daddy's hand, we demonstrated to strangers our commitment to those in need. We could have decided to get drunk at The Chicken (a local country bar), shack up with a stranger at a frat party, or get involved in some kind of "criminal" mischief. Yet, we all had a common goal in mind as sorority sisters: helping the greater community. Nothing more rewarding than setting aside our own personal comforts and serving others!
Halloween 2015 I sit at my laptop thinking about the Halloween nights of the past. Countless hours spent watching horror movies. Pounds of candies consumed. Dozens of costumes worn by yours truly! Parties, dances, religious observances, and cemetery visits. Halloween is one of those times of the year when I think about family and friends who have died. Are their souls in heaven? Are they at rest? I miss them terribly and pray for them.
What if I hosted a Halloween party for some famous biblical figures? Who would I invite? Let's see: Of course, Jesus, Our Blessed Mother and Joseph. Mary Magdalene, Martha and Lazareth. Peter, Paul and the Disciples. Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. Gosh, in my small apartment I could set up a card table next to my regular dining room table. Prepare carafes of wine, fish fillets, loafs of bread, and ripe olives. Who would dare sit himself (or herself) at the head of the table? Would it be one of the disciples quarreling about who is the greatest? Would it be Peter as our first Pope? Maybe the head of the table would remain empty as guests decided to turn a seated dinner into a standing room only buffet! Share the food and fellowship with camaraderie and respect. Lay to rest any ideas that one person is better than another because of wealth, power, or clout. Cast aside Mrs. Pride and Mr. Ego in exchange for Mrs. Humble and Mr. Compassion! Who knows, we may open up my private Halloween party to the entire neighborhood! Let the trick or treating begin....
"It's said that All Hallows' Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin - and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright." - Erin Morgenstern
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin. Please visit her blog: Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality