My apologies for this being posted so late. It has been a busy weekend for me trying to prepare for the hardest thing to do in this economy; finding a job. Rather than picking out an excerpt to post, I decided to grace you with a short, short, story about Easter Sunday.
Dawn had passed. The sun’s rising brought on a day that started cloudy with rain threatening to ruin the special occasion. The bountiful colors were missed, but as the rays of light pierced the morning gloom, they awoke a small child from her sleep.
With a yawn and a stretch, she rubbed at her sleep crusted eyed and pushed back her long ears. Fur and hair were mussed, but her bright blue eyes were wide open and gazing at wide wonder out her window at the beauty the night’s rain had given to her yard. She squealed in delight then scrambled out of bed and into the living room where she found a huge basket filled with colored eggs, candy, a chocolate rabbit, a rag doll that looked just like her hanging onto the handle of the basket. Her laughter said it all, she was pleased with her new gifts.
From out of the kitchen, her mother’s voice called for her to come and eat before digging into her basket full of goodies. The older rabbit smiled as she peeked around the corner to watch her child grab the doll then skip on over to the table to wait patiently for the morning meal.
Eggs and ham, fresh toast and a bowl of fresh fruit were devoured quickly by the excited little girl. She chatted happily with her mother while she ate, telling her about her dreams from the night before. All was pleasant and fun until she was finally shooed off to get a bath and get dressed in her new clothes.
In the course of an hour, both mother and child were ready. Hand in hand, they left together to go with the others to listen to the morning sermon. Other children were there, sitting with their parents. She, our little bunny girl, only had her mother but she saw nothing wrong at all with the picture. Looking up at her mother, she saw a single tear fall and leave a trail through the gray and white fur of her cheek.
After seeing the tear, she snuggled up against her mother’s side and held her close while she listened to the story their pastor gave.
He spoke of a man long ago who left his home to tell others about the one and only God and how loving and powerful he was. The old ram’s voice was strong and clear though his wool was thinning and his head balding with age while he told about the Last Meal this man had with his disciples, how he broke bread with them and called it his body, then drank wine with them, calling it his blood. His voice wavered as he told of the man’s humiliation as he carried his cross through town and how one of his own disciples denied knowing him.
Then, his tone changed, turning sad but so loving as he spoke of how the man was lifted up onto the cross and the spectators screamed and threw things at him. Two others were also crucified with him, thieves who had gone too far in their deeds. One spat mean words at him and the other only asked him to forgive him before they died. All the special man did was accept the forgiveness then called out, asking his glorious father to forgive them all, for they did not know what they were doing.
Soon, the man and the thieves died and the earth began to shake. In the temple, the curtain fell, revealing the most holy of holy places in the church. In the morning, all three were taken to be buried. The special man was placed in a tomb meant for a rich man, wrapped in linen, then a heavy rock placed over the opening so nothing could enter.
It seemed the ram’s voice soften when he paused, smiling at his awe struck congregation. That fateful day had happened only a few days before. Three days after the burial, three women went to end to the body and found the rock was moved and two brilliant white beings waiting for them. They listened in awe as they told them their special man had risen to be with his father. He had left to help everyone find their way into Heaven to be among their families that had gone before them.
The little girl blinked, enjoying the story. She hugged her mother again and saw more tears had fallen. As the congregation was asked to pray, the old ram asked them all to include the girl and her mother in their prayers. The girl’s father had been buried just the week before. He had followed the special man but losing him was still so fresh and new to their small family.
Easter, even to them, was a special time for hope and new beginnings. But it was also a time to remember those who had gone on before to wait for them in Heaven. As the sermon came to a close, the little girl looked up at the carved cross above the ram and smiled; seeing a warm glow coming from the center where the pieces crossed. It was the glow of hope and promise to her and the rest of the congregation.
With a bright smile, she skipped along side her mothers as they left to go back to their home and enjoy a simple dinner together and a day that became a warm and wondrous time spent in sunshine and new spring grass.