Today’s find: Gazing

From our grandkids’ perspective, the transformation now appears to be complete. And it is wonderful in their eyes.

I refer, of course, to what initially entered our lives as the Great Pumpkin – the most bodacious gourd we encountered anywhere across the sprawling acres of the pumpkin patch…as we wrapped up our apple-pickin’ expedition a month ago.

Grandkids…all decked out for Halloween around the Great Pumpkin.

In the weeks since, the hefty orange orb morphed into something more like a beach ball – an irresistible attraction on our front porch, simply begging to be rolled or ridden every time the boys saw it.

Then, this week the carving knife came out in anticipation of Halloween – and the ultimate makeover was set in motion as our two grandsons looked on: pumpkin no more, its true essence revealed as a grinning and engaging Jack-O-Lantern.

And I do mean engaging. Few spectacles have more power than pumpkin guts…to enthrall the 2- and 4-year-old imagination. Slimy, stringy, smelly – a pumpkin’s innards are a little boy’s wonderland (as long as there’s some grown-up around the clean up the mess.)

Cool! Great big gobs of stringy, slimy pumpkin guts!

With the task of carving complete, it’s the Grown-up’s turn to become the student – to see the delight and wonder in a Young-un’s eye as he gazes upon an entirely unexpected face. Indeed, the wonder only deepens as he gazes into the Other, letting himself be absorbed by the mystery he encounters there.

Wonder of wonders…

And still MORE wonder…


Great mysteries revealed…through a child’s eyes.

As we celebrate the feast of All Saints this weekend, we might take a timely ‘All Hallows Eve’ lesson from the Jack-O-Lantern, and the childlike wonder it can reveal.

In pausing to remember all the saints we’ve encountered in our own lives…we can marvel at how they each came to know something of the Holy One. And how they shared with us bits and pieces of that precious knowledge. And how so often they smiled as they gazed.

Then, we can join with the Beloved Disciple in raising a song of thanksgiving and praise:

See what love the [Holy One] has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know [God].
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.

Happy Halloween…and All Saints’ blessings…to all!

Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.


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7 thoughts on “Today’s find: Gazing

  1. Mark Dean

    Nice post on the Transformation of the Great Pumpkin, John! Thanks for sharing the joy and delight of grandsons with us. And that last photo showed off how well you sculpted this gord. Happy Halloween!

    • Well, my primary role in the actual sculpting amounted to “supervision”…
      Ellen & Gerri get all the credit for Jack’s design…and execution… (bwaaa-haa-haa…! 🎃)

  2. Carol Corley

    This has been among my favorite Scriptures since I was asked to read it at Diane Guerra’s funeral. I love the similarities you regularly draw between the things of daily life and the things of God, John. His children, we blessedly are. And our children and grands can remind us how to come to Him–here, gazing into the mystery. Beautifully said.

    • Thanks, Carol…and thanks for the reminder of our dear Diane! (And yes, I can just imagine her cringing at me calling her “dear”! 😇)
      IMHO, there’s no better time than All Hallow’s Eve … to ponder the mystery of God’s goodness, shining through our sinfulness … a mystery best seen through a child’s eye…

  3. Mary Kopuster

    Adorable. Yes, as He is. And we like those little children. Thank God for kids! Liked your depiction of the Great Pumpkin, too.

  4. Mary Heinsz

    Even pumpkin guts can be transformed! All Saints Day always gives me joy, it’s uplifting to think I personally knew some saints…and I’m sure I did! We all have the capacity to be saints, and some of those saints who have gone before us, have helped to carve us along the way.

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