Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Easter Grinch

I would not call myself a family person.  Believe me, I am fully aware that this makes me sound like I have a heart full of stone, but that’s not exactly what I mean.  I have a pretty large family, not just in my four siblings and four parental units, but also in my extended family on both sides.  Not only is the family large, but most of them (both immediate and extended) live in or near the small town where I grew up.

Needless to say, I grew up surrounded by people, especially at holidays.  Most holidays had little more meaning than a lot of food and a lot of people, and I looked forward to them only so I could eat as much dessert as I wanted and listen to relatives comment on how tall I was getting (a source of never-ending pride to my young self). 

However, my parents especially are not overly emotional people, preferring instead to just quietly support whatever I wanted to do.  So it was that when the time came to move to Chicago for college, there were a few tears of course, but mostly I felt free to move on.  I called whenever I felt it was time, and I didn’t give in to the lonely feelings of homesickness because I knew it was only a matter of time before I saw them again.

All that background leads me into a story.  Rewind to this time last week, and I was a grumpy mess.  Easter was coming, and we had no family around to celebrate with.  As previously mentioned, I’m used to big gatherings full of small talk and too much food, and the idea of spending a holiday with just the hubdubalub and me was just plain depressing, to be honest.  If ever there were an Easter Grinch, it would have to be me.  I guess I’m more of a family person than I had realized…

Anyway, I wasn’t fun to be around.  Every time I thought of Sunday, I got sad and lonely and made snide comments about it being “just the two of us” with a sour look on my face, as if I could think of nothing worse than spending time with the love of my life.  Please pity the husband-man, he could use it!

As the week rolled on, I decided I was going to slap Easter in the face and make it wonderful and memorable and delicious even if it was -sigh- just the two of us.  I bought a feast and picked out a pretty Easter outfit and pretended to be happy when in fact I was still quite grumbly about it all.

There I was in church Easter morning in my pretty outfit with the menu all planned for the afternoon, and something began gnawing on me.  Church is so darn good at bringing out those feelings, the ones we call “convictions” in Christianese.  As the sermon progressed, it began to sink in that Easter is the epitome of joy, the one day where the entire foundation of my life is proved victorious.  He is risen! the church sang, and my heart began to rise with Him.

If ever there was a day to be truly joyful, it is Easter Sunday, my friends.  I was so self-centered and self-pitying that I had completely overlooked the reason we gather to celebrate: that my Savior conquered death for my sake and has risen to live among us.  My oh my did I feel small as I realized that those very selfish thoughts are the kind that remind me how needy I am, how desperate for the grace offered in Christ’s victory over the cross.

After all the sadness leading up to it, this Easter was good, dear readers.  We did feast.  We did enjoy sunshine and special desserts.  But above all we worshipped, full of true joy and admiration for a God who never gives up on the Grinches of the world. 


  1. Yay! So glad that church helped change your attitude! Leading up to Easter I was just kind of "meh" -- I haven't been home for Easter since before college, and idk.. I didn't have concrete feelings about it either way. But then IN church it was just such a joyful experience. And when you think about it, Easter/every Sunday is what Christ commanded us to celebrate, because it signifies his power over death. Such a crazy and amazing thought! Anyway... just saying. I miss you!

  2. I haven't been home for a while for Easter either I suppose, but I did celebrate with Mitch's family, so there was always family around. It's just part of the whole transition! But yes, it was an awesome reminder of how much joy there is to celebrate, plus it really helped me keep things in perspective!