Today is the first day of spring! You wouldn’t know to look at it though – it’s a real snowstorm outside. All the world is wintery white, and so we are staying home and staying warm today. I know you’ve been waiting for spring, and that’s what makes March so hard! March can never make up its mind. But it will come, and it will be warm, and it will make you so happy! There’s nothing so amazing as seeing the world burst into life again.
Easter is coming soon too, and so for our little Bible story time this morning, I pulled out a simple picture book of the Easter story. You sat beside me on the couch, and Jack sat on the floor, absorbed in a basket of toys. I told you about the pictures – Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem, and all the people waving branches and shouting “Hosanna!” You looked at me sideways, like I was being silly, but Jack liked that part, and turned from his toys to wave his little hands back at us. I told you about the supper Jesus had with his friends, and how he went to a garden to pray. I told you about the mean men who took Jesus and made him carry a cross.
“That’s Jesus, Mommy,” you said, pointing to the man carrying the cross. And then we turned the page.
“Jesus died,” I said quietly. You looked at me, leaned closer and put your hand on my arm.
You know who Jesus is. We sing “Jesus Loves Me” almost every day. You know what died means. Our cat, Scratchy, died last fall and we buried her in the ground. You know somehow, instinctively, that these two things should not go together.
I said it again, and showed you the grave where they put Jesus’ body. You were quiet. You were sad. You were unsure. Oh, little girl, you wouldn’t know it to look at it, but the best part of the story is on its way.
We turned the page again, this time to a smiling, standing Jesus. “Jesus is alive again!” I said, and I didn’t have to pretend to be excited. And your face burst into life, and you looked at me with wonder in your eyes. I told you all about it, and then you wanted to go back to the part where he died, just so you could see it happen one more time.
“Where’s our Jesus, Mommy?” you asked at the end of the story. “He’s in heaven now,” I said. You paused a moment, then reassured me, “He will come to play in the sand here, in the summertime.” That seemed to settle the matter.
One day, my love, it will make more sense. Right now I am happy that this story is being planted into who you are, and I know that “our Jesus” will make it grow till it turns your heart into warmest spring, and it will be amazing.