Fall Fun or Evil Practice?

Picture-Halloween in Boston

I am in Boston to see my son, Nicholas and his beautiful bride, Stacie, and there is Halloween revelry bubbling around me.  Our Stacie is dressed as Garth Alger, the character played by Dana Carvey, of the 1992 movie, Wayne’s World.  It is a unique time of the year.

“Tis the season of Halloween . . .



things that go bump in the night
children in costume
gathering candy
neighborhood pranks
. . . sounds like good clean fun.”

Or is it?

Every year it happens and every year there’s a least some misunderstanding. For the record, Halloween was not originally a time of revelry and festivity. It was recognition on the eve of All Saints Day (which is November 1) that we build our world and our lives upon the foundation laid by the saints who have preceded us.

Hence Halloween, or “all hallows (saints) eve” was a time to reflect on those whose lives had been influential to us, and a time to sense their continued influence in our lives.
So, think about the saints—and remember that a saint is not so much a person who realizes that he or she possesses virtues and sanctity as one who is overwhelmed by the holiness of God. Or, as the boy said who was asked to define a saint, upon looking at the stained glass windows in his church with pictures of Saint Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, “A saint is someone who lets the light shine through.”

Continue your celebration of “Hallows Eve” this week and let God’s light shine through!


An Intersection of Strangers

Picture-Intersection of StrangersI don’t cry easily. Maybe someday I will. I am not proud of it. I do not think crying is a weakness. I just don’t cry easily.

Charles Dickens, in his classic Great Expectations, helps with my tear dilemma: “Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before—more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”

So why do I need to confess about crying? Let me explain.

My recent tears arrive most unexpectedly, both in place and in power.

I am on the beach, my favorite place to relax. Then without notice, streams of steady tears begin, my eyes unable to contain the flow.

I am reading a book, something I do most everyday of my life. In this particular case, I am reading a book written by a friend. While he initially identifies it as a “novel,” I am relieved to discover these words in the preface: “This story is based upon (such) a memory for me, the true story of the intersection of strangers.” I am relieved because for me most novels die somewhere between fate and folly, dreams and drama.

Maybe I cry because I know the writer and hear the heart cry of his memories. Maybe I cry because the writer is skilled at his craft and weaves a tale of bittersweet reality. Whatever the reason for my tears, they come as “rain upon the blinding dust of earth” when I read the last paragraph and look up to discover my wife has “caught me in the act.”

Disguised as a Trojan horse, the book enters the city of my soul and captures me unaware of the power of my missing brother.

I tell you all of this because I want to warn you to read the book. I want to warn you in the way that a town crier alerts the community to upcoming opportunities.

I want to warn you “memories matter,” people are precious and life is faithfully fleeting.

The title of this book is An Intersection of Strangers and Paul Heagen is the writer. It is a story of two teenagers whose intersection in life is timely and timeless, opportune and enduring. It is a story of cars and kids, parents and music, wars both foreign and personal, fate and faith, living and dying.

I can’t promise you will cry when you read it, but I can hope you will.

P.S. You can contact my friend Paul on his Defining Moments website (www.definingmoments.me) or call 513-260-8330. Or simply go to Amazon to purchase.