come together, celebrate life, just come as you are

We live on a dark and poorly lit cul-de-sac. To me, it looks very much appropriately creepy for Halloween… but the neighborhood kids tend to stay on the well-lit streets with wide sidewalks. Consequently, the only trick-or-treaters we get are a few church kids whose parents promised to bring them by.

1-IMG_2908Fortunately, we can live vicariously through our grandkids and – evidently – they had a fun evening in Richmond. David – who had resisted costuming up until now – was a very convincing Darth Vadar, and Beks was a super-cute SuperGirl. Even now their parents are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of what choice candies they’re going to selectively steal from the epic stash!

Meanwhile, back in Wake Forest, Rebekah and I spent a relaxed evening waiting for a few beautiful Wake Forest Presbyterian Children and their awesome parents to stop by and load up with as much of our pile of candy as we could persuade them to take.

As a “holiday” I’ve always seen Halloween is a “take it or leave it” date on the calendar. But, as an opportunity to witness cuteness and fun and silliness in kids (and adults too), I’m all for it.

Here’s my take away from October 31. It was a perfect, clear, beautiful, cool evening; kids and their parents were walking around the neighborhood laughing, playing, and visiting with friends and neighbors; electronic devices were mostly put away and communication was face-to-face (or, “ghoul-to-ghoul”); peace and harmony were the order of the day.

1-IMG_2916This is what living in community is supposed to look like. The simple celebration of life together. Enjoying what we have in common. Celebrating our children, our freedom, and our delight in fun.

This is not a difficult idea, friends. Coming together. Celebrating life. It’s more important than just about anything. This is the America everyone talks about. It’s not buried somewhere in the past, it’s right now.

Fact is, it’s what we experience all the time with our faith community at WFPC. It’s not complicated, and it’s available to everyone. The only requirement is showing up.


Current News life photogrpahy The Grandaddy Letters

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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