Halloween affords us a time to snicker at death, to race through the graveyards with our friends, to dress up in disguise as though the ruse might fool the grim reaper and protect us for yet another year. But we need not run from the fear or disguise it with costumes or ritualize it away in parties and laughter; it was that fear that drove Saul in desperation to find the Witch.
There was more for Saul at Endor than a vision; there was care. That is the greater surpise, the surprising turn at the end. For Saul, whom the woman had feared for his power, was reduced by his fear to one in need.
It says that when she saw that Saul was terrified, this woman - this "witch" - was moved to minister to him. She urged him to rest and to take food. She prepared him a meal and gave him what he need most, which was care.
The good news of the story is that fear does not remove us from the reach of God. Fear may be the point of vulnerability through which God actually reaches and touches us.
In our very arrogant and confident generation, fear may be one of the few places remaining through which the light and the love of God may shine. It has already made many of us more careful; it may yet mak us more (faithful).
Whistling as we walk past the graveyard will in no way exempt us from the eventuality of one day residing there. Dressing for success cannot protect us from the failures to which we are prey. Smiling cannot avert the genuine pain that comes from contemplating our own certain end in the face of our friends or in the bathroom mirror.
It may do us much good to face into the fear: Saul did and found there the face of God."