Ms. Marge’s house was a must see during trick or treat. She carved the most ornate pumpkins in town. Each displayed a Christian theme reminding the children what was important. She took pride in her handy work, but this year was different. Ms. Marge’s arthritis took its toll. She no longer had the dexterity of her fingers. Carving intricate details into a pumpkin was impossible.
Cindy, Helen, Charles and Mark were sitting at her kitchen table chattering about what they were going to be for Halloween. Ms. Marge loved the chatter. It filled her heart with joy when the children stopped by.
“Ms. Marge, will you still have trick or treats at your house?” Cindy asked.
“Of course dear, I would not miss my kids in their get-ups. Charles do you think you could try not to scare me half to death this year.” She said with a wink as she nudged him on the shoulder.
“Ms. Marge, I see you still put pumpkins on your porch. Can I ask why?” Helen inquired.
“What’s Halloween without pumpkins?” asked Ms. Marge. “Just because I can’t carve them, does not mean I should not have them.”
Later that evening Ms. Marge went out on her porch. She loved to sit in her rocking chair, taking in the crisp fall air and listening to the children run about the neighborhood. Everyone who came by asked about the pumpkins and every time she explained the situation her heart sunk a little bit more.
As the sunset, the streets quieted. Ms. Marge took a final look at her pumpkins. How sad that tomorrow was Halloween and the best she could do for decoration was set uncarved pumpkins on her porch step. “Lord, I know your plans for me and I am ok with it. I just wish.” she stopped short of saying anything more. She understood that God knew the wish that was on her heart.
The next morning Ms. Marge made her way to the kitchen, one gentle step at a time, trying to stretch out her aching joints. The sun was not up, yet the aches in her body did not seem to care. They urged her out of bed earlier each day. Finally making her way to the kitchen she pressed the on button to the coffee machine as she peered out her window.
It was then that she noticed. Her pumpkins were missing. She rubbed her eyes, thinking this must be a dream.
Still not believing her eyes she made her way to the front door. Stepped out on to her porch and starred at the vacant step. “This cannot be. Who would do such a thing? Everyone knows why I buy the pumpkins.”
She sat back in her rocking chair, in complete disbelief. As tears streamed down her cheeks, she spoke aloud “There is no way I can get more today. The best of the season are gone. God, why? Why did you let someone take this last bit of joy from me?”
Later that afternoon Cindy, Helen, Mark and Charles came by for their daily tea and cookies. Ms. Marge greeted them with the usual smile and invited them in. “Ms. Marge, where are your pumpkins?” asked Helen.
“Oh honey, I don’t know. When I woke up they were gone. At first I was angry, but God has a plan in everything and sometimes we just don’t get to see the why of the matter?” Ms. Marge answered back patting her gently on the head.
“I’m so sorry Ms. Marge. I know you took special care in picking them out.” Mark offered his apologies.
“Children, do not worry yourselves with such things. Pumpkins are just pumpkins and Halloween is simply about having fun. Now hurry, off with you all. You have plenty to do.” Marge hurried them along. She did not want them to see the sadness that was beginning to creep up from her heart into her throat.
As the sun began to set, Ms. Marge took her place on the porch, candy bowl in hand and fake smile in place. She waited for the children to gather at the end of the street. She could always hear the laughter and gleeful squeals as they began to make their way down the street, stopping from house to house.
She sat there in anticipation, yet she heard nothing. The sun had set and it was dark. All that was left on were the inviting porch lights. “Where are all the children and their parents?”
She stood up leaned forward holding on to the hand rail of her porch and looked down the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of something; then she saw them. The parade of costumed children quietly came towards her house. Each of them carrying a carved lit up pumpkin.
As each child made it to her porch, they placed their hand carved works of art on the steps. She never knew this kind of joy and love. Just when she thought she could burst, her four daily visitors came forward. Each of them carved a Christian themed pumpkin and placed it on her step. They were the four pumpkins that had gone missing.
“Ms. Marge, we knew how much you love carving the pumpkins, which is why we took them from your step. But when word got out that they were missing everyone wanted to replace them. It is like you said, except this time you get to see the end of the matter. You get to see what God planned.”
Ms Marge cried, but they were tears of joy. “God, you have given me more than I ever deserved in all these children. You are so wonderful. You answered my hearts prayer in such a glorious way!”
Ms Marge took her place in her rocker on the porch, candy bowl in hand, smiling in anticipation. She could not carve the pumpkins herself this year, but she still had the best pumpkins in town.