Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Does God Have a Sense of Humor?
My neighbor invited my husband and I over for Easter dinner with her family. There were nine adults eating dessert as evening drew near and daytime was beginning to slink off into the sunset. Filled with the energy several chocolate Easter bunnies provide, most of the younger children were screaming and chasing each other around the house.
Somehow, the conversation turned to Viet Nam, the War Between the States, and war in general. Very somberly, we talked about the horrible unintended consequences of war on civilians. I happened to glance at the two older girls, 11 and 13, who were hovering around their mother, listening to the conversation and looking equally somber, bordering on sad and filled with empathy for those hurt in such horrendous circumstances. From my perspective I could see this was not a good thing for them to be hearing, nor a good thing for us to be discussing on such a happy day.
Suddenly, the Spirit Himself filled my mouth with words He tossed out like the dice in Yatzee. I unexpectedly shouted, "Hey! It's EASTER! We're forgetting it's Easter! This is the day the Lord triumphed over all of this! Over sin and sadness, war and violence, jealousy, envy, disease, hatred and evil itself! Why are we sad today of all days? We should be rejoicing for death is dead and love has won!" Shocked, I sat back and watched the girls faces light up with relief and gratitude at the very idea Christ has the victory. Silently then, I praised the Lord for His perfect timing.
Earlier, I was visiting my own children in Portland, Oregon. It's a long way there from Ohio, so I was staying for the week thoroughly enjoying my 16 month old grandson who is delighted just to be! Anywhere! My children are not Christians. I know God has perfect timing so one day they will be when He is ready and they are too. From their point of view Easter is simply not celebrated in Portland. It's just not done. Restaurants do not close, malls and stores are open and except for family celebrations the day is pretty much like any other day. Easter is no longer a big deal.
My time with them came to an end on the Thursday before Easter. On Easter night they called to wish their dad and me a Happy Easter. Asking them about their day, my daughter-in-law told me she prepared dinner for her parents and they had a great time. More than that, her parents shooed them out the door right after dinner so they could do some shopping while Grandma and Grandpa watched the baby. This was their Easter treat! Key word: was. The stores were closed.