It was a Kodak moment
Eleven adorable children waiting with baited breath for me to countdown to the start of a hunt for little chocolate eggs.
It was an Easter Sunday afternoon when the children were very young. Frank and I decided to invite both “sides” of the family and some church friends. This was brave considering the variety of attendees.
Back to the Kodak moment.
Easter egg hunt
It was a misty Sunday and the very first time I had presided over (or allowed), an Easter Egg Hunt. Due to the weather and a lot of brand new little shoes, the eggs were hidden throughout the main level of the house. I distributed brown lunch bags, counted down from ten and shook the little bell.
I will not soon forget the shrieks and squeals which never abated during the five minute search. The children looked like little squirrels frantically gathering their goods. The twenty seven adults cheered them on. Another shake of the bell and all the kids were summoned back to the family room where the official counting of the eggs would take place.
The child who found the most chocolate eggs was to receive a large, fluffy, huggable, big bunny rabbit.
I just love door prizes.
“I am so glad that you all got some candy to take home with you but one of you will also go home with this big bunny. And the beautiful bunny goes to . . . (drumroll) . . . Zachary!”
- Zachary did not respond (he was 18 months old).
- Jordan burst out into sobs (he was the runner up).
- Frank’s sister accused my brother of cheating—he scooped up his son Zachary and most of the eggs as he ran aggressively through the house during the hunt.
- My brother declared Zachary the rightful winner, grabbed Peter Cottontail and went downstairs to watch the game.
“Potato puffs, anyone?”
One of our church guests looked visibly upset
One of our guests from church grew extremely quiet and looked visibly upset. I took her to the guest bathroom.
“Is everything alright, Martha?” She was an older, single woman who was usually alone at church.
I didn’t expect her reply.
“No, everything is not alright. Jesus didn’t hang on a cross so we could get on our knees and hunt for chocolate!”
My first private thought was that she probably also thinks the letters in the name Santa can also spell Satan. (Forgive me, Lord!)
“Oh Martha, I am so sorry we offended you. We love the Lord with all our hearts and just wanted to do something fun for the children. Actually, the bunny and chicks and eggs provide a great illustration of new life, birth and hope.”
Her face was losing its contorted effect.
There was a loud banging at the bathroom door
One of the little cousins was wearing chocolate on her new white dress. I ran to see where she was sitting at the time of the crime. A few squirts of Resolve and it was time to serve the Italian buffet.
Frank assembled everyone into the dining room, read aloud from Luke 24 and asked the Lord to bless the meal. Everyone said “Amen!” and proceeded to dig in.
Well, almost everyone.
Frank’s Jewish sister-in-law left the room and headed for the guest bathroom
She seemed visibly annoyed so I followed her to see what was the matter.
“Is everything alright Myra?” She was a young, sweet woman who had recently married Frank’s brother.
I didn’t expect her reply.
“No, everything is not alright. I don’t feel I have to subject myself to New Testament readings and praying to Jesus. You should not impose your beliefs on other people!”
My first private thought was that this is the woman who teaches yoga, defends the rights of animals and contributes time and money to Greenpeace.
“Oh Myra, I am so sorry we offended you. We love the Lord with all our hearts and just wanted to acknowledge Him on such a holy day of celebration. Actually, Jesus was Jewish and the last supper was a Passover Seder.”
Her face began to regain its sweetness.
There was a gentle knocking at the door
It was my Grandmother and she needed the facilities.
Back in the dining room, our guests were returning for second and third helpings.
The adults conversed, debated and argued. Those in the room who were not of Italian-American ancestry seemed entertained, were quite attentive and didn’t have much success breaking into the fragmented exchanges. I proceeded to set out the desserts and Frank put up the coffee.
- capital punishment
- the Course in Miracles
- eating meat on Fridays
- the spanking of children
- getting paid off the payroll
- holy rollers, rock and rollers
. . . they seemed to cover it all.
I got concerned about the heightened emotional and noise levels.
Someone dropped their fruit salad on the floor and Jordan shot out of the basement running for his life with the stuffed bunny in hand and Zachary trailing (and screaming) close behind.
I tried to catch Frank’s eye for some emotional support but it was too late.
I ran right past the guest bathroom door
I ran right past the guest bathroom and into the master bedroom and locked the door.
“Oh Lord, I am sorry if we have offended you. We love you with all our hearts and just wanted to have our relatives and friends over to share that love and to celebrate the amazing fact that you conquered sin and death. Lord, you seemed to love saints, sinners and strangers with ease. Teach me your ways and help me to please only you.”
I felt His peace and presence and took a minute to praise Him.
There was a deliberate knock on the bedroom door
I quickly opened it to find Frank standing there.
“Honey, are you alright?”
He didn’t expect my reply.
“Yes, I’m fine and I love you and the children and this baby inside me. And I’m glad we can open our home to share the Lord’s love with others.”
I smiled broadly and hugged him and returned to our guests with a noticeable adjustment in my fragrance.
It was a sweet Easter after all.
May you radiate the unmistakable fragrance of Jesus wherever you find yourself on Resurrection Sunday.
HE IS RISEN
Isn’t that great news?
But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us, spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. – 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NIV