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