I can’t believe it’s already the last day of March! We made it! I made it! (See, like I said on day one, I’d get all the way through the month!)
So I’ve been saving this one up. I really want to talk about Easter. Now, I can’t actually tell you about my FIRST Easter. Obviously I wasn’t even a year old at the time… so I don’t really remember.
I can however tell you about the first (and maybe only) time I wore pants on Easter.
Maybe this doesn’t seem like a big thing to you. Perhaps you don’t celebrate Easter. Or perhaps you didn’t attend a church event on Easter. Or maybe your family just isn’t as intense as mine.
I told you a while back that Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday. That, while I do enjoy the family time, gift giving, (and mainly) gift recieving just isn’t my thing. For a long time I don’t know that I could have pinpointed my favorite holiday. I don’t really have favorites for a lot of things.
With that in mind lets get back to the point…. PANTS.
You see, Easter hadn’t been my favorite holiday either. Why? Because I was ALWAYS forced to wear a dress. And as I’ve told you, I was somewhat of a tomboy. I HATED dresses. The only time my mother would really push the issue was for Easter. How did she talk me into it? By telling me my Grandma would be upset if I wore pants and not a dress to Easter.
My Grandma is probably my favorite person in the world. My Grandparents could and did get me to do just about anything for them with a single request. I’d do anything to make sure they weren’t disappointed in me. So every year, the doting granddaughter that I was, donned a dress (much to my chagrin).
That is until the fateful day arrived. I was in high school and in one of my more rebellious phases. I’m not sure what side of the bed I woke up on but it wasn’t a good one.My family usually volunteered to help cook easter breakfast for sunrise service. At my home church you wake up before the dawn, drive out to church and have a hill side service. We sit out chairs outside facing the east and have a short service to put you in the right mind for the day. As the service progresses you watch the sun rise up over the distant hills. It’s really quite moving. Afterward the church serves breakfast to everyone. Most people who come have on jeans, t-shirts, and kids usually wear pajamas. Then you go back home take a short down time and get ready for the primary church service.
I got dressed and walked out of my room and into the kitchen. As soon as my mom sees me she scowls and shakes my head, but it eventually turns into a sigh of resignation (either it was too late to change or she didn’t think the argument would do any good).
We only lived down the hill from our church. So not even three minutes later the car is parked and I’m hesitating in the backseat to open the door. As soon as we drove up over the hill and I caught sight of the building a dread and guilt started in the pit of my stomach. I was going to disappoint Grandma.
I trudge through the doors and up the steps like a kid who’s been sent to their room and ordered to clean it. I through the pews and pause at my grandparents row (we didn’t usually sit with them at the front, but holidays were different). I walk into the row and cautiously make my way to my grandmas side. She looks me up and down and gives me a soft smile as she hugs me and mummers in my ear, “don’t you look pretty.”
I’m pretty sure that was the day Easter became my favorite holiday. It’s grown to mean so much more to me as an adult whose developed and depended their own faith. But that was the starting point. I remember being a really surly kid that year. And then March rolls around and spring is peeking out of a long winter it felt like maybe a shift was coming. Something about that day and Grandmas comment shifted something in me.
I know we get caught up in the production of the holidays. We want them to look the right way. Or be just right. Or we wan’t other to perceive us in the right light. But really what matters on any of those days is where your heart is at.
Easter is a day of resurrection. A day when were reminded of the promise of a new life that springs eternal. Of a savior who didn’t come to throw out the old, but to rescue the dying.
…A savior who could care less about appearances and more about intentions.
I never wore pants to Easter again. But every year since then it’s been my choice. It’s been in celebration and honor of a God who would give his life to save mine. I think the least I can do is give a little reverence to the occasion. And I think that’s all my Grandma (and mom) has ever hoped for.