Amid crayons, paper scraps and handmade Easter cards we talk. Do you know why we celebrate Easter? A deep question to ask a five-year-old. I expect responses to do with bunnies and egg hunts, candies and jelly bellies.
I’m stupefied when he says, “because of Jesus.” I stop dead in my tracks. What about Jesus? “Because he died,” he says casually, decorating an egg cutout, without even looking up. I’m floored. Would I have responded this way at five?
I’ve got to ask…well what happened when Jesus died? He pauses. I know he’s really thinking. There is silence. He gives me a mysterious little look, like what he is about to say is too wild to share.
I beat him to the punch. “We celebrate Easter because he rose again. It’s the miracle.” He returns to coloring. “I’ll put a cross for Jesus on this one.”I sit, stunned. I’m always stunned. This five-year-old and I we have the deepest conversations. He is so deep, his thinking so complex. He questions and mulls things over. I love this. I love that his spirit challenges, processes, wants to know more and more…so much more that I find myself doing research, studying theology, just to answer this little mans questions. “Mom, can you turn my worship on?”
He’s gone again, returned to that place in his head, the place no one is invited, although I’d desperately love to visit. I pick up a colored pencil and join in the art. I go to my head. Resurrection. What would I breathe life into could I? Who? My list is long. I believe them gone before their time, before my time, but all in God’s time. They’re gone, I hate it, and I have no power to change it. I just hang on hope.
Then there is the what. What in my infinite wisdom would I bring back to life?
Friendships, maybe? Relationships? Career? Dreams?
I think back. Maybe in the moment I would have given life to that friendship. The one with the girl I knew. How desperately I wanted her to put as much energy into our friendship as I was. But she didn’t. It hurt.
Alas it takes two, in friendship and in love.
And speaking of love. Oh how I would have made that boy love me. The one in college who called me terrible names and didn’t appreciate me. I wanted him to love me so much. But he didn’t. It hurt.
The career. My short-lived career in journalism. I wanted to badly to love my job. I wanted there to be life in editing other writers work, in shuffling through the stacks and stacks of copy, but there just wasn’t. I quickly learned to spell “depression” c-u-b-i-c-l-e. The day we were all let go I wanted so badly to mourn a loss, but in truth I just felt relief.
Had I of brought any of these “whats” back into existence my life would not be what it is. I wouldn’t change the “whats” but maybe the “who’s”. I suppose that at the end of it I realize that I just don’t have enough wisdom to give life to the dead, flesh or otherwise. I release it all as a natural part of life, the ebb and flow.
I’ve run out of space to color. Art time is over, nevertheless my mind drifts to miracles, magic, mysteries. I contemplate the incomprehensible. The rising, the living, the dying. It all feels so very big it makes me feel incredibly small, but not small in a bad way, small in the way that makes these little interactions important and the timeline and expectations I set for myself not so. This feeling allows for the small and finite to become whimsical and magical.
Because of the infinite…
We gather up markers, stickers, and colors. We’re slow about it, it’s magical, it’s perfect.