Of Easters Past

It is interesting what one can learn from old memories. Some memories bring smiles, while others bring tears.  Regardless of what emotion a memory stirs, there can be something to learn or understand from those memories.  The challenge is recognizing it.

Easter is one of the holidays younger children in the U. S. love. Winter is generally on the wane, if not gone, and summer is still several months away. Of course, it is also the day the Easter Bunny comes.  Kids love Santa but adore the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny brings candy and, there is no naughty or nice list!

Unfortunately, I suppose I have very few memories of Easter as a child. Did my brother and I hunt decorated eggs and candy? I am confident we did. I just do not remember it, and any pictures from those years were destroyed decades ago.

Still, there is one Easter memory from my youth I will never forget.  It was my first time playing Easter Bunny. I was, to say the least, excited.  I was playing a part in our Easter celebration, and I was doing so for an important reason.

My aunt, Mom’s youngest sister, and her children were living with us. She was recently widowed and was looking to start a new life. Starting anew meant finding a place of her own, and a job.  In the meantime, they lived with us.  Now, she and the kids faced their first Easter without a husband and father.

Mom decided we should make it as normal an Easter as possible. That meant an Easter Egg hunt was essential. Accordingly, she set the plans in motion, asking me to hide the eggs and candy. There you go! I was proud as a peacock and as excited as a fifteen-year-old boy could be about something other than girls, cars, and motorcycles!

Everything was going great. I was up early and started hiding the goodies all around the yard. Toward the last of my task, Mom was telling me to hurry as the kids were dressed and wanting to know if the Easter Bunny came.  I hid the last little treasure, heading in to tell mom the Easter egg hunt was ready.

Yes, I placed that last goody on the ground turned and jumped up on the back porch. At least, I tried to jump onto the porch.

I was so excited, I forgot the piece of steel cable strung between a column and the wall. I remembered it instantly when I felt it slam into my mouth. By that, I mean into my mouth, all the way back to my tonsils! As I was falling back from the shock and recoil, I saw something white flying through the air.

The cable extracted my left lower cuspid as cleanly as any dentist.  It became the Easter prize we never found.  Except for that little matter, Easter went well.

Well, I hope the last couple of paragraphs lightened the mood a bit, as this is sounding pretty grim.  With that said, you have every reason to wonder why I am writing an Easter story such as this.  What does that story have to do with the reason we celebrate Easter.

Today, I know He is always there. He will let us ignore Him and build walls trying to keep him out, but he is still there. Yet, at that point, He and Jesus were just legends I read about as a child.

Looking back, I regret not having the faith I’d had a few years earlier, or the faith I found again thirty years later. I had nothing to offer my cousins and aunt other than an Easter Egg hunt.  Yes, they had a bit of fun finding decorated boiled eggs and sweets. Still, that was hardly a replacement for a lost father and husband.

If I had not been in rebellion, perhaps I could have done more. I could have explained the real meaning of Easter. I could have prayed with them or for them, but I did not believe in prayer. All I could do was entertain them or try to distract them from their grief. That is just sad.

As I know now, God waits for us.  He waited for me, and I was a lost cause for so many years. He let me do my own thing for decades before putting me in the position I could not ignore Him, or those around me who tried to lead me back to Him.

I don’t know for sure what happened to my aunt and her kids after I left home. I did hear about them occasionally from Mom. From what I heard and what I remembered in the years I was around them, faith in God was not a part of their lives.

I don’t blame myself for the missed opportunity. In those days, God’s name was never spoken in our house except in vain. Nor do I blame my dad. Even though he is the one who banned God from our home.

Instead, I remember that Easter to remind me to hold on to and share my faith.  I do not intend to stand before God someday, with any more regrets of this nature.

Do you have notable instances where you failed to step up and share with someone for one reason or another?  Do you know someone with whom you feel the need to share your faith, but find yourself afraid?  If you do think about this story.

I understand I have been forgiven. I know I was not to blame. Yet, I wonder if I could have made a difference, and regret I didn’t try. Don’t let that happen to you.

© sinnerswalk.com

About S. Eric Jackson

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