My Elusive Easter

Easter morning, 8:00am:  I was still lying down, savoring a bed to myself, trying to catch up on missed sleep from previous nights.  One of the first things that occurred to me as I rolled out of bed was that I forgot about our church's early pre-service Easter breakfast.  Um, yeah we weren't going to make it to that.  I came downstairs to kids in various stages of morning routine, and a husband who had been worn down already by an hour and a half of general morning mayhem.  The baby was dressed, and I was eager to dress the other two in the adorable outfits I had picked out for them weeks before.  I was taking too long getting ready- the poison ivy on my arms was kind of a downer for Easter outfitting- should I wear make-up or not? Forget it let's go.  The whole car ride to church I felt like I had thrown away the opportunity to really prepare myself or my kids for the meaning of Easter, because I knew that would have meant being intentional about it over a week ago.  Plus I felt distant from God myself- and I knew closeness was not something I could manufacture the day of.  Drat.

By the time I sat down in the service, I was in one of my weird funks.  I was listening to songs asking, "death, where is your sting?" and "Hell, where is your victory?" and instead of feeling this amazing sense of God's power, I was feeling this overwhelming sense that death is very much alive in all the forms of brokenness around us- in child trafficking and hatred and drug addiction and arguments and pride.  I guess I didn't really doubt God's power, but in the moment those words felt somehow premature- at the very least I felt very acutely the wide gap between the reality of this world and the Hope of the world that could be.  I hadn't been truly drawing close to God lately, so I felt like a hypocrite anyway and everything about Easter seemed to mirror how I felt- plastic and hollow like the eggs we would later send the kids to find.  I knew that there was power in the message of Christ that churches everywhere would share that day, but it seemed I had heard the story so many times that I was too numb to feel the weight of its truth.   And the more I was reminded of what emotions Easter was SUPPOSED to evoke in me, the less able I was to actually access those feelings.  I can't describe it exactly, but something had snapped; everything felt wrong and I just wanted Easter to be over.  (And that was long before my kids were acting ungrateful and fighting over the contents of their Easter eggs.)  

Ah- I don't mean to be depressing.  The day got better.  I did enjoy a quiet afternoon with family and, after putting him through one of my particularly perplexing venting sessions, I assured my husband that I wasn't giving up on faith or God.  Or even Easter eggs.

But for me I think there were a lot of takeaways from this past Easter.  Maybe you can relate.

A good friend shared this link with me this week after I shared my "less-than-appropriate" Easter feelings.  I felt like it completely summed up the feelings that I was having and the beauty and victory that is being offered out of the mess that we are and the broken world we live in.  If you don't remember a single thing I've written I hope this message sticks out to you.

Death: His Sting and Defeat (by David Bowden for Church Online)

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