I’m almost embarrassed to admit that Easter as a “holiday” holds no special significance to me. It seems pretty lame actually to accept that some giant bunny delivers (actually hides) colored eggs and candy…and according to what my niece and nephew received...some really high end gifts akin to Christmas in April.
I don’t even “appreciate” the idea of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday because somehow it always feels undermined by the “Easter Bunny”. Besides who knows what the actual date of this historical occurrence was. It gets moved every year which begs the question did it initially get “moved” from its actual date for convenience sake by some King or Queen of yore like Christmas? Add to this, the fact that the death and resurrection of Christ is something I try to hold dear to my heart daily. This mentality I’m certain gets down to my NEED to remind myself that each day I must “die to my flesh”. I have to picture my sin putting Christ on that cross every single day!
Next…Easter Sunday means church is crowded with people you haven’t seen since Christmas. I wonder why people bother at all. Why only go to church 2 days a year? I know, I know, some would say “two days a year is better then none!”
My response would be: “Is it? Really?”
I volunteered to work in the nursery figuring it would be less crowded and we get to do a craft! The nursery was fun except for the coffee incident. You see I am a 42 year old CHILDLESS woman who doesn’t know all the “rules” yet. Even as I recall this now I cringe…it was almost in slow motion…one little girl reached up on tippy-toes to grab a bag from on top of the cubbies…I watch…as sliding forward…is my entire 22 ounce Styrofoam cup full of peppermint coffee with cream--sans lid. Sliding, sliding, sliding….I can’t get up fast enough and my mouth forms a large “OHNO” as these two darling children (cousins ages 2 and 3) are doused with (thankfully cool) coffee and it drips down their beautiful pastel dresses onto their darling cotton socks with ribbon trim.
The ‘lead teacher’ yesterday is the pastor’s wife and she takes it all in stride being the grace-filled, kind-hearted women she is…and begins to clean the little girls up. I run to get a towel and some water and start to work on the second girl and the carpet. It PRETTY much came out…but it soaked one child’s bag and one pair of ribbon trimmed socks are now considered “coffee socks”, not to mention these girls were scented of peppermint coffee with cream! I dreamed myself to the zoo where I could become a flamingo and entirely submerge my head in the dirt covered landscape!
Okay so with all that in mind, it’s also a day my mother stresses beyond words in trying to prepare the perfect dinner at a specific time so everyone can be included. She becomes so stressed in fact that I not only don’t want to go, but I would rather stay home and watch old movies or even do laundry for that matter. Plus…because of the ‘coffee incident’, I was running late to my mothers…not a good thing! I was explaining to the mothers of the girls what happened and why their daughters now smelled caffeinated.
I suppose I sound bitter and angry and to some extent I am. I am angry that my mom values getting some huge meal on the table by a certain time MORE than just sitting and relaxing and recognizing what this celebration is about. I am angry that the seed of bitterness is rooted in those ongoing memories each year. I am angry that the focus has become more about the new dresses, hats, baskets, etc, instead of what Jesus gave us. I’m angry that I fall victim to it too, each year.
Yesterday I came home from my moms early, after doing the dishes in an effort to “help”. I was exhausted from a weekend of church activities and regular household maintenance ‘stuff’. My husband had gone to work (this probably doesn’t help my ‘tude’ either). I needed to “rest”. My mother saw I was pulling myself up off the floor to leave and said; “You’re leaving already?”
I quietly said: “yes, I’m tired.”
I knew by the burning sensation in my eyes I needed to get out of there immediately. I didn’t hear any more salutations as I was leaving, so I made it out almost unnoticed. I went home, sat down, shooed the dogs, closed my eyes and rested. I felt on the verge of tears and I was certain it was just emotional and physical over-exertion.
Here is the good that came from it:
Recognizing my own weaknesses with childcare at church. Recognizing that adults don’t inherently know everything. Recognizing that children will find whatever contraband exists in their environment either willingly or by “accident”. Recognizing that I need a nap every once in awhile too. Recognizing what my stress “maximum” is. Hearing my mother admit she is getting “too old” to do this each year and asking my sister and I to consider doing it next year. Not losing sight of the fact that YES, Christ did die on a cross for ME and rose again 3 days later to sit at the right hand of God. All of this was good!
Next year, I’m spending Easter at a beach somewhere, even if only in the confines of my own bathtub!