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Welcome back to the Dorie's Stories {devotional} Blog!

As we are in the midst of the Fall season and pumpkin seasoning is in all foods, it reminded me of my childhood days and the many costumes I was made to wear in the month of October. I found this gem of a picture in my parents' collection of organized photo albums and a distinct memory and follow-up question came to mind.

Why was I wearing a creepy tin man costume as an 8-year old girl? Find out right now in this devotional story blog entry!

From my book, Hope Looks Good on You!: a Comedian's Joy-inducing Daily Devotional for Women

. . .

Chapter 12: Tin Man

When my sisters and I look back on our childhood family pictures, we notice a common thread...we wore a lot of boyish clothes. We aren’t sure if our parents just lacked fashion sense or if they were given a large amount of hand-me-downs from a boys’ group home.

We also noticed a trend in that my sisters and I wore a series of child Halloween costumes that were obviously for boys. One year in particular I remember donning a tin man costume from The Wizard of Oz.

This costume literally has the word man in its name. I don’t remember ever asking to be the tin man. I don’t know that anyone in history had ever specifically asked to be this side character, especially without the other characters involved.

I was the lone tin can man...there was no Wizard-of-Oz theme that year. The rest of my family didn’t join in as munchkins or a scarecrow. He doesn’t even have an actual name.

I’m not sure why Dorothy wasn’t the go-to costume. I had long brown hair as a child and I’m pretty sure I owned a dress and a basket somewhere.

I remember standing there on the steps in front of our house in this most uncomfortable silver suit, wearing the plastic mask with the eye holes that made it hard to blink, and the rubber band that pulled my hair while holding it tightly to my face.

We were taking pictures and I could see my friend walking across the street in her cheerleader costume. She was my pretty neighbor friend who all the boys liked.

I remember having the thought even at eight years old as I adjusted the tin cylinder around my waist, “Yep, a cheerleader costume was a better way to go.”

To be honest, I don’t know how my mom got me to put this hunk of metal on my body...I can’t even get my own kids to wear an itchy sweater.

Bringing it full circle, this past Halloween was the first time we went out trick-or-treating with my kids after a long hiatus.

My costume: Dorothy.

Yes, I was a grown woman in pigtails and gingham. I even got my family to join in as the scarecrow and Glinda.

And I got candy.

I became like a child again and I ate all the candy I got within three days. I don’t recommend this, but I do understand it. I earned that candy and it was mine. I only shared the gross candy.

I had never liked Halloween...the gore is so over the top. I could never understand how moms who carry Neosporin® in their purses can suddenly think it’s cute to dress their kids up with fake blood-soaked shirts or a headband that makes it look like a dagger is somehow lodged in their heads.

I stayed away from the trick-or-treating scene partly for the gore reason and partly because I grew up in a home where after our family found Jesus, we hid in the basement every October 31st like there was an annual zombie apocalypse.

That’s what we did back then — your family would either hide out in a type of Halloween protest or leave Jesus tracts on your porch instead of candy.

I recently heard a pastor say that Halloween is the only holiday that our neighbors might open their home (or at least their porch) to the community. It can be an incredible time to reach out, meet our neighbors, and share God’s love with them.

Jesus wasn’t afraid to engage with the culture. He intentionally hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes to show His love. He made the most of His time on the earth and reached out to people in all walks of life.

I’m not suggesting that our neighbors are tax collectors and prostitutes...although some costumes might give that impression!

I’m saying that God isn’t afraid of rubbing up against humanity with all our faults and flaws.

He called a tax collector to be one of His disciples.

He struck up a conversation with the woman at the well whose past could have been a soap opera.

He allowed a forgiven prostitute to wash his feet with her hair.

He touched and healed lepers who had to shout that they were “unclean” wherever they went.

Humanity didn’t scare Him.

“As Jesus went on from there,

He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth.

“Follow me,” He told him, and Matthew got up and followed Him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house,

many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples,

“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said,

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:9-13 NIV

Reflect & Journal: Whatever the setting, be willing to share God’s love with those around you.

Make a list of a few things you could you do today to reach out to your neighbors. If you happen to get a bucket full of candy in the process, so be it.

. . . I hope you enjoyed the devotional excerpt! Feel free to share it with someone you think would enjoy a devotional story involving a creepy tin man costume and showing God's love in the community!

Here’s the link to share:

With hope & joy, Dorie Mclemore

P.s. next time, I’m planning to post another brand new devotional story I wrote for my next (currently unnamed) book! Make sure you are subscribed to get the notification in your inbox! P.p.s. If you want a copy of the full devotional book, Hope Looks Good on You!, use the button below!

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