This Easter is going to be different.
I probably sound hypocritical stating how uncomfortable I am talking about death in one post and then writing about that very topic in another post. I didn’t plan on talking about it anymore, but lately, it’s all we’ve been talking about.
On Sunday, Boo came out of her Sunday school class proudly holding a colorful beaded cross. “It’s a cross,” she stated proudly. And then her whole face and demeanour changed. “Jesus died here. I am so sad. Jesus died. Why did Jesus have to die?”
She held her cross in her hands during the entire sermon, just staring at it, lost in thought. Every now and then she would turn to me and whisper, “Jesus died.” I nodded my head.
Death is a lot to process. I can’t make sense of it and so I don’t even try. But I could see my innocent and imaginative three-year-old trying to figure it out.
That evening, when I joined her in bed for her bedtime stories, she rejected her usual stack of Robert Munsch storybooks and pulled out her children’s Bible. “I want to read about Jesus’ death,” she said. I obliged and turned to the chapter titled “The Saddest Day.”
Usually, we only read one Bible story a night, but tonight I insisted on following up Jesus’ crucifixion with the next chapter, aptly titled “The Happiest Day.” I read with gusto and enthusiasm, trying to emphasize that something good, really good, came out of something so sad. She studied the pictures and asked an endless barrage of questions I tried my very hardest to answer. “Why did they hate Jesus so much?” “What colour were the clothes they wrapped him in?” “Did it hurt on the cross?” “Did Jesus cry?” and then, “When is Jesus going to come back?”
This has been our bedtime routine ever since. The same stories, the same questions, and then more questions. Her unyielding curiosity has made me, at times, uncomfortable, confused, and grateful, because this is the first Easter in a long time, in which I am putting Jesus front and center. Every question she asks piques my own curiosity. For the first time in a long time, I have questions. I have emotions. I am riding a roller coaster of incredible sadness, confusion, gratitude, and overwhelming love. I can’t make sense of it all, but I am happy to be lost in this confusion. In the past, I have been too easily lost in Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies. I am thankful that this year, this Easter, Jesus is our sole focus.
Three-year-olds can be wonderful teachers.