WALDPORT — This will not be the normal Halloween. It got me thinking.

Remember back to earlier times when Halloween trick-or-treating was a time for dressing up in princess outfits and alien monster suits? When waiting at the door meant either a scare or a treat? When measuring the weight of the pillow case determined how much fun you had getting treats? I remember one Halloween several years ago when the living parable of Christ came to our door.

We were new to the neighborhood and didn’t know how many children to expect for Halloween. We ran out of two bags of candy right away on the earliest little goblins and ghosts. My husband and I each like to give the candy, so each child received a double treat at first. Sadly, I had to turn away several princesses, one lion, and a Ninja Turtle while my husband went out for more candy. Upon his return, our neighborhood was visited by an entire busload of pirates, ballerinas, ghosts and colorfully creative costumes.

Did we have enough treats, we asked ourselves? One by one they stood in a long line down the walkway to our front porch. They were all very patient, holding hands with the little ones, big goblin showing little ladybug how it's done, each proud and excited to show off his or her own special costume. We enjoyed each child as they came up to our door. We kept our enthusiasm up. The line seemed endless.

As the last two boys, or maybe angels came forward, my husband and I looked at each other and silently prayed to have enough treats. But only a single piece of candy remained. The boys briefly looked at each other and back to the candy. At that moment the Lord whispered to me not to worry. I went to the cupboard and quickly grabbed a package of instant mashed potatoes and ran back to the front door. My husband gave out the last piece of candy and I held out my treat to the last little boy. The delight on his face was priceless. He beamed, took the mashed potatoes from me, quickly said thanks, and ran off down the street after his friends yelling and shouting over and over to them, “I got mashed potatoes!” The other boy looked at us with a smile and a shrug and said, "He really likes mashed potatoes."

Immediately it came to us that the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. God knows what we want, and with patience he provides what we need. These two young boys, although dressed as little monsters, became saints in our eyes. They practiced patience, a willingness to be the last in line, and the faith in believing that the best comes to those that trust in the Lord.

Hoffman is a member of St. Anthony Parish in Waldport.