This year, for the first time, I looked upon a replica of the blood-stained grave cloths and realized, for the first time, that they probably were blood stained. I realized that I'd been believing a sort of cartoon version of the Easter Story, a dumbed-down version meant to be more palatable for the refined sensibilities of the Hoity Toity. While never exactly embracing the bunnies and the chicks and the chocolate, I've been glossing over the viciously hurled insults as He hung there, leaking out life. I've been forgetting the anguish of His mother as she watched it all unfold. I imagine that she wished to be dead herself, seeing His lifeless body hang there, so absent of her Son. I rarely consider what it must have been like for the sky to turn black in the very middle of the day as He died. I've been taking what He did on my behalf that day on the Cross lightly and I wish to do so no longer. I see my children understanding in their childlike, faith-filled way and I wish to emulate them. They cry as they remember their Lord's sufferings and the profound appropriateness of this centers me.
I've always loved and felt relieved by this quote:
Be comforted. It is no doing of yours. You are not great... Be comforted, small one, in your smallness. He lays no merit on you. Receive and be glad. Have no fear, lest your shoulders be bearing this world. Look! It is beneath your head and carries you."
- C. S. Lewis, in Perelandra