We would then walk up and down row after row of fabric, unrolling bolts, cutting swatches, comparing favorites until just the right fabric was chosen. From fabric to thread, buttons and zipper and then home where my mom would get busy cutting and sewing and hemming, thus creating our custom, one of a kind, made to order Easter dresses.
My mom is incredibly talented, no doubt about it.
I also remember Easter lunch, consisting of ham and variety of sides but always, always potato salad. Sadly enough, this is a tradition I am unable to continue in my own home. The ham, yes; potato salad, no. My husband considers eggs and mayonnaise, and particularly the combination thereof, grounds for divorce.
You think I kid.
Egg hunts are another favorite memory, and not the big corporate church hunts, but hunts at our home, in our backyard and sometimes in the den. Our hunting fun took on a variety of forms: my dad hiding the eggs, me and my sister hunting. Me hiding, my sister hunting. My sister hiding, me hunting. Me and my sister hiding for my brother to hunt. You get the idea. We never tired of it, at least not in my memory.
One Easter we came downstairs and our baskets were hidden! Another year the Easter bunny, that trickster, hid our eggs himself while we were sleeping. Because of the aforementioned love of the hunt, we knew exactly how many eggs were to be found but we never did find them all that day. It was a great curiosity to us as to where and when the rogue egg would show up...
Thankfully, we hunted the plastic egg and not the hard boiled variety.
When I was a young girl, maybe 8 or 10, I remember us watching one of the Jesus movies while seated on the floor in front of my grandmother's console tv. Then, as now, I had loved Jesus for as long as I could remember and certainly knew the details of the Easter story. That year something happened to my heart as the depiction of the crucifixion scene reached its climax: my heart, it broke. I wept inconsolably and rushed from the room.
I couldn't bear it.
Suddenly the story was more than a story. I knew in the deepest part of me that it was true and the awfulness of its truth overwhelmed me.
My mom followed me into the bedroom, assuring me, comforting me, coaxing me back to the movie, to see that the ending is good, Jesus lives, it's not the end, not yet.
Many years later I sat in a darkened movie theater and cried again as I hid my eyes from the terror of the cross as depicted in a motion picture. The ending was good, Jesus lives, but, oh my word, the cross...the blood...I couldn't bear it.
Every Easter I ponder the unimaginable horror that is the cross as well as its incomprehensible grace. My wickedness, Christ's mercy. My depravity, His forgiveness. Did ever such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown? He redeemed me by His blood; He bought me with a terrible price. I am His. He is mine.
See how He loves us? While we were yet sinners Christ died! Behold the cross of Christ! See your sin and your utter depravity. See His mercy and His grace.
I think of my heart breaking as a young girl before the horror of the crucifixion and I ask that I not forget. I want to remember and worship the glory of my Lord Jesus as revealed in His cruel death and His glorious resurrection. This Easter Sunday. On Monday. On Tuesday. On every day. From now through eternity.
My prayer is that you too would remember...and worship...with hearts broken before the grace and mercy of a holy God. He alone is worthy!
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.2 Cor. 4:6
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21He is risen! He lives! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Author's note: This post is based on a post originally published at my personal blog in April, 2009.