One of my most horrifying Easter memories occurred when I was about four years old. We were living in Montgomery, and my sister and I were fired up to get a basket full of jellybeans and a Russell Stover hollow milk chocolate bunny. (No wonder why I have a sugar addiction to this day…)
But no candy eating would happen before we went to church. So off we went, and even though I don’t have this specific memory I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been paying attention to the lesson ‘cause all I would have been able to think about was that chocolate bunny. And whereas my parents have let my son eat Oreos for breakfast (they deny it but I know it happened) we weren’t allowed any chocolate until after lunch.
Home from church. Eat a delicious lunch of fried chicken, potato salad and green beans. Outside for pictures on a Polariod that came out of the camera on 2” cardboard showing 2 happy children in matching crocheted vests (that’s SOOO 70’s) with Easter baskets full of candy. Then we scampered off into the backyard to find pastel-dyed eggs before they started to rot in the early spring heat.
Finally! The Easter egg hunt was over and I was going to tear into that box that held the chocolate bunny and bite the head off that bunny and enjoy every piece of his chocolate deliciousness. And all was well, until we rounded that corner of the house into the driveway where we had left our baskets of sugar bliss.
As I rounded the side of that house I let out a SHRIEK – all I could see was Honey (my sweet, sweet half German Shepherd half collie mix of a dog – not to be confused with my grandmother named Honey from yesterday’s story) with MY CHOCOLATE BUNNY IN HER MOUTH. Apparently Honey the dog had the same idea in her head that I did, and she got to my bunny first. To say I freaked out would be an understatement – I wanted that chocolate rabbit and I wanted it RIGHT THEN.
Tears were cried and dried, and I think the next day my momma went to the Piggly Wiggly to buy me another bunny, bringing joy to my young heart (and mouth).
My Easter morning didn’t turn out like I thought it would. Then again, neither did Mary’s or any of the disciples. They went to the tomb expecting to anoint Jesus’ body after his death but got a huge surprise:
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when the entered, they did not find the boy of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!’” (Luke 24:1-6)
They expected a dark, sad, devastating experience. What they received was an unexpected, monumental event that forever changed the world. Do not dwell on what was thought to be lost – look to the promise of the One who is alive today and can bring unexplainable joy to your spirit!
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