Sunday, March 31, 2013
Today is Easter, so as the tradition goes, I would like to wish all of you a most Happy Easter. The religious holiday of Easter is early this year. Normally, I look for it after the warm spring holidays begin. For this year, in the Holy City of Charleston, SC, we haven’t had many warm days this month. Most days, the mornings were chilly where you needed to wear a sweater or jacket in the mornings, and sometimes, throughout the day. Our spring fling hasn’t begun. This morning, I awaken to 61 degrees outside. Hello Spring Time! Pouring a fresh cup of coffee, just to awaken, I saw the morning sunshine in the midst of dark clouds. The weather forecast for today is rain, and now, as I look outside my windows while writing this, I see only gray clouds, darkness, and I believe I hear raindrops. But it’s Easter, you say…the day for me to wear my Easter bonnet and “Sunday best” just for Easter….
Easter is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Christians believe (and I am definitely a Christian) that Jesus was crucified for our sins. Burying his body in a large cave, a boulder blocked the entrance. According to traditional stories in the Bible, and beyond, on Sunday the entrance to Jesus’ gravesite was open and “Jesus has risen!” was discovered by a few women, including the Virgin Mary.
As a child, I was taught to celebrate Easter, like most children are taught. Living in a mill village for many of those years, my family did not have the money to splurge on Easter bonnets, frilly dresses, and pumps and Easter baskets. Our grandparents catered to the four girls in my family by buying us these pretty items. So, on Easter Sunday, I made certain I was dressed to impress in my Easter dress. I’ve always enjoyed dressing lacy and glitzy, so Easter Sunday was a day I wore my new dress until the evening. Colorful bows, matching my outfit were worn in my hair. I wanted to shine! Easter Sunday, my family went to church and if my memory is correct, we celebrated an Easter feast at the fellowship hall of Beallwood Assembly of God Church. After we ate, the Easter Egg Hunt began. I did not wish to get myself dirty, so instead of looking for Easter eggs, I spent time with the boys. Imagine that!
Today, I will have a quiet Easter with my husband and neighbors. Since 2010, there has been a new tradition in our neighborhood with one of our greatest neighbors inviting us to an Easter feast with the neighbors. I look forward to seeing all of them again, enjoying a quiet, relaxing Easter day celebration, while remembering why the world celebrates Easter.
To all of you reading this, I hope your Easter is filled with the traditions of the season – the belief in Christianity, the Resurrection of Christ, the symbolism of life and death and the passing into a new divine life. As for traditions, may you enjoy the traditions you practice with your family and friends. May you feast on lamb, baked ham, and all the delicious foods of Easter. May your children find the Easter eggs while enjoying all the goodies the Easter bunny gave them. Still, I reflect on the Easter holidays I celebrated with my grandparents and the traditions they instilled upon us, their bratty, spoiled granddaughters. My grandmother truly believed in spoiling us, while teaching us about religion and the power of faith. Grammy taught me wisely, as I watched her actions. My belief in the power of prayer is a credit to her and watching her bowing at her knees, while looking up into the sky as she folded her hands and prayed for God to help her with the burdens in her life. Sometimes, I listened to her praying, hiding behind a curtain so she could not see, or hear me. Once, she caught me. When she asked why I was hiding I looked up at her, tears dripping down my face.
“Grammy,” I said…”I was listening to you praying. I wanted to know why you are so sad and praying all the time.”
“I have a burden. God listens to it. He will help me with the burdens I have.”
Now older and wiser, I understand a bit about her burdens. Our family life was not a happy time. Now, as I look back, I feel blessed that I had such a significant role model within the hands, faith and body of my precious grandmother. She instilled in me the power of prayer, and the belief that God is always listening to us, hearing our burdens, while at times, He may test us, just to see IF we still believe.
On Easter Sunday 2013, I will say, I still believe. I have faith. I have strength. During my lifetime, God has guided me during times of trouble, and during times of sheer faith. I hope your Easter Sunday will be blessed. Please take a moment to look up into the skyline, even if it is laced with gray clouds and raindrops. Look at it this way. The raindrops are washing the blanket of pollen away, along with the cleansing of cobwebs from our minds. Today, Easter Sunday, is the day to believe that there is a new day blooming inside of us. A new chapter, or a new journey in our lives may start today. Have your faith. Dress your finest, share those beautifully decorated Easter eggs with your children and loved ones while knowing Easter Sunday is truly symbolic — a new beginning, on a new horizon! Happy Easter!