It hurts a little to share Easter with you.
Not the bamboo baskets and the plastic eggs and the bonnets. That’s the fun stuff. But sharing Easter with you, the real Easter, the Easter that would still be there even if the Dollar Store and Target closed – that means sharing Good Friday with you, too. Letting you take a small, three-year-old step into the story of darkness and sadness and death. You’re sensitive. I know your heart will hurt a little at the story.
You’re just beginning to deal with scary dreams and scary stories. “Tell me two stories,” you asked last week. “A happy story about a dragon and a scary story about a dragon.” I like to keep you sheltered. If you hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have told the scary one, with the dragon’s fiery breath and big sharp teeth. But you asked, and I know you need to learn to work through fears in a place where you are safe – a place like my lap. I want you to know you are brave and capable… that you will sometimes be scared, and that is OK. So we journeyed together through the dark forest with the dragon at our heels, and at the end of the story, we were alive, safe, OK.
And here we are at Holy Week. There are people who will tell you that this story was spun in someone’s mind too, but sooner than I’d like to admit, you will find out that the world is full of hurt and sorrow breathing down your neck. It’s real. It’s OK to be scared. I like to keep you sheltered, but the thought of you getting hurt by the awful things in this world – it scares me too.
I need to share this story with you because it is your story. It helps me to remember that the story’s end was written long before we ever crossed the threshold with you in our arms. You shine so brightly, but you’ll have some very dark times in life. I want you to know that even when you are not brave, and even when you are less than capable – because that story has been written, you have Jesus. You have everything you need. He did the conquering already, so you can have hope and forgiveness and light and happiness and someday, no more darkness or pain.
We will journey together this week – to Jerusalem, to the garden, and even to the cross. I’ll hold your hand. It’s OK if it makes you feel a little funny and sad inside. It is sad. There are some dark and scary parts, but what a beautiful story it is. At the end of the story, Jesus is alive, safe, OK. We are, too.
Just wait. I’ll wait with you. And come Sunday, we will celebrate together.
Happy Easter, baby.