I had risen early to get started on some things in the kitchen for our meal later that day. In the process, I got off in my own little world and kind of abandoned my husband. He’s sort of busy and pre-occupied on a normal Sunday but even more-so on big Christian celebrations like Easter or Christmas. You know, since he’s the Pastor and all. He has a few minor things on his mind and all that. It’s a good time for his wife to help out and field most of the kids’ routine needs so that he can prepare his heart and mind. Maybe even make him breakfast. At the very least, it’s a good time for her to let him in the kitchen so he can make his own breakfast. Ahem. Did I mention that she was a little off in her head? Yes, well. Let’s just say his wife pretty much dropped the ball on that whole thing.
He was hurt and then mad. She was defensive and then snippy. So, yeah, the reconciliation went well too.
Then there was the kid stuff. It might surprise you to know that the Pastor’s kids aren’t perfect angels on Easter morning. They did wake up with greetings of “He is Risen” on their lips. That was pretty cool, actually. But, it wasn’t long before their words turned sour and they started bickering with each other. About something dumb. (Isn’t it always something dumb?) It might also surprise you to know that the Pastor’s wife doesn’t always respond to the Pastor’s children with calm, Spirit-led wisdom when they start bickering. Especially if she’s in a dark cloud because she’s already been selfish and snippy with the Pastor. Ahem.
Then there was the moment when the boy (who, BTW, woke up with a cough/cold thing – ugh!) thought he might try to squeeze in some video game time. On Easter morning. On the only TV in the house. Which happens to sit in the family room. Which is the only family gathering space in the house since we don’t have a rec room or den or other such room. It might surprise you to know that the aforementioned wife/mom didn’t really have video game noise in mind when she thought about Easter morning and celebrating the most important event in all of history. (Bickering and snippy wife comments don’t really fit into her ideal scenario either, if you must know.) She was a little ticked that the boy would even ask such a thing.
It might also surprise you to know that when the Pastor’s wife is already sort of blowing it she doesn’t handle even simple things very well. So, when the Pastor’s mom’s visiting dog comes out and slops her water bowl all over the floor… well, do I really need to go on?
Can I just tell you now pathetic I felt heading to church this past Sunday? Oh, Rick and I had reconciled and God’s grace had softened this silly heart of mine. But, I still had this lingering feeling that maybe we were all just a bunch of hypocrites after-all. I mean we were celebrating Jesus’ victory over sin and death. Shouldn’t we be finished with words and actions and heart motives that reek of death?
But, as I found myself surrounded by my precious spiritual family and singing praise that morning, I was reminded that such mornings are exactly what Easter is all about. Jesus had to come precisely because I am snippy and selfish. I yell at my kids and get bothered by silly things like water puddles in the kitchen. He came because my heart isn’t always pure. My love isn’t always patient and kind and sacrificial.
I don’t need a new set of morals to follow or rules to modify my behavior. I need a whole new heart – one purified by His grace. And the truth is, my new heart fights with the old, gross one sometimes. And I don’t always respond to His gentle promptings. Sometimes, darn it, I even want to be snippy. Oh… how I need Him to make beautiful things out of this dust!
Yes, He is changing me, clothing me in His righteousness, and helping me to love even when things feel like they’re falling apart. But, sometimes I stumble through it or try to take over.
So… it wasn’t my ideal Easter morning. But, perhaps it was actually a perfect Easter morning. Because I came humble and broken… mindful that I really do need the miracle of an empty tomb.