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Octopi and Sardines and Anchovies, Oh My! (Otherwise titled: "Spread a Little Joy")

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For many years I have had fun with trick or treater's on Halloween. When the doorbell rings, I answer with a tray filled with an assortment of rather strange food items. For example, this year I had a can of baby octopus, sardines, anchovies, a bell pepper from my garden, hot sauce and some mushrooms.

My wife Carla and I find it quite amusing to observe the response of the children. Generally there is total disbelief.  Sometimes the children look at these items in stunned silence. They often will say, "Don't you have some candy?" Sometimes they say, "No thank you, I'm good." Some children begin to walk away.

Every now and then a child will say yes I love mushrooms and grab the can and turn to leave or some will say "I will try some sardines" and reach for the can.

This year I had a jar of hot sauce from Costa Rica. A little boy from Asbury Church upon seeing this hot sauce declared, "I was in Costa Rica this year! I know this hot sauce. It's Luzano Tabasco sauce." He grabbed the sauce and put it in his bag. I got a text message from his mother later in the evening. She said that the hot sauce help make him have the best Halloween ever.

We have many wonderful and very smart children in our community. What I have observed is that these children try to be polite even when they are thrown a pretty strong curveball. I like to think that I have created a memory that they will never forget: a memory of joy and fun even from a preacher.

Sometimes I am especially moved when a child introduces me to his or her friends whom they have brought simply to see the strange man giving out this weird food.

Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed that our joy would be complete. On Halloween, this is one little way that I try to spread the joy.