My wife’s family gathered for Easter at my sister-in-law’s farm outside of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Charlotte’s mother and father were there, as well as her sister’s children and grandchildren.
Spring had sprung over the Kentucky countryside, and that Easter Sunday was a particularly beautiful day. Yellow daffodils were bright against green grass, pastel colors settled lightly on shrubs, and bushes and budding green trees stood out against the blue sky as they framed the pastures across the road.
Dinner was a traditional Easter ham with all the trimmings and was, of course, delicious. As the women washed the dishes and the men solved the problems of the world in earnest discussion, the children raced back and forth playing improvised games that fell apart as fast as they were put together. Soon, the women deemed it time for the traditional Easter egg hunt.
That was my and my brother-in-law’s cue to hide the eggs as the women gathered the children and readied their baskets and cameras. Barely visible as small bits of color, the eggs lay half-hidden across the yard. The children took a little longer, as one bathroom trip led to another. As it turned out, one Easter basket became a chew toy for the dog, forcing a substitute to be rustled up. Eventually, all was ready. The front door opened and the kids erupted in search of Easter eggs.
Except . . . the eggs were gone. The children searched, but there were no eggs to be found. No bits of color dotted the yard—or shrubs—or the base of trees. My brother-in-law and I exchanged glances. Our spouses glared at us like we had pulled some ill-advised prank. But that wasn’t the case. We had hidden the eggs just thirty minutes earlier. We had no clue where they were now. As the kids milled about, confused, my brother-in-law and I began to investigate.
Around the corner of the house, we found the answer. Our father-in-law was earnestly arranging our Easter eggs by color in the trunk of his car. It was our first hint of Alzheimers, something that would come to dominate his last years. He went behind us in the yard and discovered the eggs. Momentarily, their purpose escaped him so he collected them and took them to his car.
We hit the reset button on the hiding-the-Easter-egg-thing. My dear mother-in-law occupied her husband. The women gathered the children once more, and we quickly re-hid the eggs. This time, things went off without a hitch.
Two thousand years earlier, another Easter—the first one, in fact—opened with the same confusion: An empty tomb that should not have been empty. Neatly folded burial clothes that should have held a body. Angels shining with heaven’s own light. And a living-breathing-walking-around Jesus of Nazareth who had very publicly died on a cross three days earlier.
Don’t be confused. He who was dead, buried, and rose again, lives. Seek Him . . . with all your heart and all your soul.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and kzinn.)
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