By Amanda Cleary Eastep
Easter Day 2015
I have one raw egg in the fridge.
My youngest is at a missionary camp in Florida.
My other daughter and son are at their dad’s girlfriend’s for the first time.
These things don’t negate the fact that it is Easter, and the sun is shining.
But I needed some color in the day, because Easter is about blue, hard-boiled eggs and yellow dresses.
So I planted pansies even though the ground is just thawed and the trees haven’t started budding.
What am I supposed to do with this day?
What did Jesus’ mother do after the resurrection…after Jesus’ ascension into the heavenly, unreachable realms?
I think she missed him. I think the disciples missed him.
That gut churning missing; the kind where you catch glimpses of your loved one in the stranger rounding the street corner or disappearing through a doorway, and your instinct is to run and cry out “Hey! I’m right here. Wait for me!”
I imagine they must have missed his physical presence. His human body. The sinews of the wrist in a handshake of greeting. The prickle of bearded chin in the palm of his mother’s cupped hand. The laughter reverberating a joy that mingled man and god.
I felt like I needed his physical presence Easter night. Not like Jesus had disappeared into some fluffy cloud.
The thing is, I had forgotten what followed in the Book of Acts.
Jesus sent the Comforter to his followers. A helper, an advocate.
He knew that’s what they needed. What we need still.
But something happened in between Jesus’ ascension and the Holy Spirit suddenly coming from heaven with the sound of a rushing wind.
Two men in white asked Jesus’ followers why they were still gazing up toward heaven.
That fast. No time for final waves goodbye, no watching Jesus become a tiny dot in the sky.
Why are you fools wasting time looking up?
Get back to work. To prayer. To ministry. To living.
Jesus ain’t no pie in the sky kinda guy.
This isn’t the end of a hard and lovely story, it’s the beginning. Start living like Easter meant something to you.
So Easter felt a bit “off” this year.
So not all the family was together. So we grilled hamburgers. So the pansies strained to color the drab spring.
It’s Monday now. Quit gazing at the clouds.
It’s time to get back to living like Easter made all the difference in the world.