Lebanon — Whenever a significant event occurs in a person’s life it is not unusual for the feelings surrounding the event to return with the season. For example, my mother died 12 years ago on Good Friday. The feel of spring in the air takes me back to that week and its emotion. The kids and I were picking flowers when my dad called to say he was at the hospital with mom. The flowers became a bouquet by her bedside, and were probably discarded a few hours later when they transferred her to ICU.
After mom died, I went to her house to gather some photos for the funeral. She had six dozen eggs in the refrigerator, ready to color with the grandkids. Yes, the past 12 Easters have been somewhat bittersweet.
I always wish my mom could see my children dressed in their Easter finery. We’ve added two to our family, and she has never seen the way their faces light up when we present the Easter baskets. I’d love to go to her house after church and feast on ham and scalloped potatoes, followed by a bunny shaped cake covered in coconut. I miss those days.
But on this Easter Sunday, things are different. I don’t smell spring in the air because I’m in the country of Panama, sitting on a balcony overlooking the Canal. Today it will be 91 degrees, but for now the hour is early and there’s a chilly breeze coming off the water. Massive ships are passing nearly within reach, and exotic birds are singing songs I’ve never before heard. As I sit here reading the Bible account of Jesus’ crucifixion, my surroundings make me aware of the story in a new way. My prayers of gratitude are unable to truly capture what is in my heart this morning.