The healing hope of Easter

Published 6:31 am Friday, April 10, 2020

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Raindrops fall quietly through the branches of a blooming cherry tree. A squirrel happily stands in the middle of my lawn eating a nut as if he doesn’t have a care in the world. Azaleas are beginning to bloom proudly showing their colors as birds chirp and fly around them.

I observe such beauty between the wooden shutter slats in my window. How many times have I watched spring arrive without relishing such an extraordinary event?

Ordinary life for all of us is paused because of an enemy we cannot see. I am thankful COVID-19 cannot pause Spring. The old saying, “Hope Springs Eternal,” should say today, “Spring brings eternal hope.”

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Easter is around the corner. How many years did I dye eggs, prepare baskets, cook a feast, and attended church in a new dress? How many Hallelujah choruses did I hear causing goosebumps of celebration?

This Easter most church doors will be closed, playgrounds will be empty, and there will be few egg hunts on lawns.

Large families will not gather for a feast nor will the choirs cause chills to rise within our souls.

However, in the quiet of this Easter, as we watch the beauty of spring from our windows, we still have hope.

What if there was never an Easter, a story to be told about Jesus rising from the dead to bring eternal hope? How would we know that no enemy, nor death could defeat the son of God, just as a virus could never defeat Spring?

The streets are quiet, the future is quite uncertain. We are in fear of death or sickness and afraid no weapons are available to fight such invisible foes.

We are in fear of losing jobs, worried about food, money, and children, but with faith, we know we cannot be defeated.

Most of us understand we will be forever altered, and it will take a while to return to what we deem our normal lives.

Perhaps, we will return to an upgraded version of normal if we attune ourselves to the message of Easter.

Could we possibly become kinder, more thankful, and realize we truly need one another?

It is natural for all of us to be alarmed today, but perhaps, in the quiet of our own little isolated worlds, if we listen carefully we can hear the footsteps of the living God who will carry us through our troubled times.

Perhaps, He is telling us that He will come to church where we are, reminding us of the glory of all that is Spring. The events that occurred from Good Friday to Easter teach us we will be victorious even through death.

My grandmother was very sick and bedridden from heart disease in the latter days of her life requiring a caretaker. One morning, when Granny Rose was the sickest, she called for her sweet Lucy from her bedroom.

Lucy rushed to her side, but found Rose putting on her Sunday dress, her hat and gloves. Amazed my grandmother was standing, she asked, “Miss Rose, what are you doing? It’s not Sunday!”

“I have somewhere special to go today and want to be ready.” A few hours later Rose Walker passed away.

My Grandmother went to church that day to hear the real angels sing wearing her Easter bonnet and a fine dress.

As we head to the glory of Easter and the magic of spring, enemies loom around every corner. However, it is Easter that gives us the courage to tackle them.

It is the faith that was spread throughout the world over 2000 years ago, that reminds us of the joy of the risen Lord.

Our love, faith, joy, and hope reside not outside our windows.

Nor does it reside in our churches. It resides in our hearts to give us comfort, courage, and eternal life.

We may not be able to hug our neighbors this Easter, or have our families share our table, but the Lord will be by our sides because He continues to live. How many times have I watched Spring arrive and seen the sun rise on an Easter morn? How many times have I not relished such an extraordinary event? I know I never will again.

“It is well with my soul.” I pray it is well with you.

Happy Easter.