I originally wrote this in 2015, but I am publishing it here now because it’s relevant.
Halloween is coming. I know early September might seem like a moment too soon to talk about Halloween — however if you go to any store, you’d think it was tomorrow — but Halloween is kind of a Big Deal in my household. You see Halloween is the only non-summer birthday we celebrate. All five of our birthdays (seven if you count the dogs) fall between May and July except one.
On October 31, 2010, at 7:16pm, we welcomed baby Daniel into the world. My little spook. My little punkin. My precious and perfect third boy. So Halloween is kind of a big deal.
It’s also a big deal because my boys LOVE to play dress up. I have always had a bin of costumes and props available to them to inspire imaginative play, and even now, at 11, 8 and almost 5, the costume bin gets more use than any other toys or games in the house. Which brings me to the point.
The other day the boys were dressed in all sorts of weird attire, and I asked what they wanted to be for Halloween. Hockey player and dragon were the clear and non-surprising choices of the older two, but my Daniel didn’t give me a clear answer. He was preoccupied with trying to attach his Armor of God ensemble, struggling primarily with the Breastplate of Righteousness. I helped him fasten it to his trunk and worked with him to add all the other pieces, my question of a Halloween costume forgotten.
As we were running out of my office to chase his brothers, I noticed that he had left behind the Helmet of Salvation. “Danny, you forgot your helmet!” I called after him. He turned and paused and said, “I don’t need that. It doesn’t fit.” And he ran off.
I’ve been thinking about this for days now. While to him it was a plastic helmet that didn’t really fit and would impede his ability to play with the big boys, to me this was a MOMENT. How many of us run out of the house without our Armor? And how many of the people around us, those closest to us, toss aside the Helmet of Salvation as an unnecessary impediment that won’t really fit into their lives? And what do we do about it? What can we do about it?
God tells us that we are to be a light in the world. Matthew 5:14-16 tells us, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (NIV)
To me, this means that we are supposed to don our Helmet of Salvation every morning and by what that does to our lives — how we speak, act, love, deal with hurt, manage anger, grieve — others will want to don that Helmet as well.
I have admittedly struggled with fitting my salvation into my daily life. In my day to day, I am immersed in worldliness. I want to be liked. I want to be a part of the cool crowd (which in my line of work is a bunch of eggheads who would hardly qualify as “cool” outside the profession). And sometimes it feels like my Helmet doesn’t fit. I’ve never been skilled in apologetics or felt the call to stand on a soapbox — and maybe that’s a copout.
I do, however, feel called to love. I feel called to encourage others. As I have matured as a woman and as a professional, I have found that my reactions speak loudest. The way I respond to conflict, my approach to performance challenges, my attitude under pressure…they scream to those around me — who I am and what I am about. My desire is that those screams would be resounding praise, pointing those around me to Christ. Sometimes, however, I don’t like what they say. And in those moments, God convicts me, almost always immediately. Praise Him for that, and for the fact that His mercy is new every morning. I certainly know I need it!
Everything is a choice. Our example and our testimony is comprised of our choices. I don’t ever want to leave my Helmet, or any of my Armor, at home because it doesn’t fit my life.
Lord, please convict me if I do.