When I was eighteen, Susie’s nine year old daughter, Heidi, died from leukemia. Susie and I were visiting a few years later and she said, “After you lose a child, Easter becomes the best holiday of them all and it’s the one I look forward to most.”
I thought about Thanksgiving with its tribute to our blessings, peace and prosperity. I even considered the Fourth of July with its rousing appreciation for a nation with so many freedoms. I thought of Christmas with celebrations of the birth of Christ and the angels announcing “Peace on Earth.”
But, I understood Susie to mean that even those wonderful and significant holidays didn’t offer the peace and hope that the empty tomb on Easter morning held. For Susie, the fears and grief that may have bothered her throughout the year were swallowed each Spring as she remembered the hope of the resurrection.
Susie passed away from cancer a few years ago, but each Easter season I remember her saying, “(When you lose someone you love) Easter becomes the best holiday of them all,” and sensing the peace she felt as she said it.
I feel the same. It’s just such a quiet, peaceful, and hopeful holiday. On Good Friday I can’t help but think how sad all of Christ’s believers would have been. On Saturday, I can’t help but wonder what despair they must have felt. On Sunday, I like to imagine the joy they felt that they’d never felt before. I’m grateful for faith which allows me to trust that there is a Resurrection.
Shannon, a cyber-neighbor, shared this once and gave me permission to share it again:
Our son, Adam, drew a poster for a poster contest in Sunday school. On it, he drew a picture of the earth, and at the top was a picture of Jesus on the cross. There were tears rolling down Jesus' face, and big scary nails poking out of His hands. My husband and I listened as he showed the picture to his brother, Stephen, in the backseat of the car. Stephen asked, “Why is He crying?”
“Because,” Adam answered, “he was hoping the bad guys would use tape.”
Happy Easter everyone. What a happy day to celebrate that He lives.