We've been under an order by the state of Ohio to shelter in place for over a month now to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
We haven't sat in the church sanctuary in the same amount of time.
We watched Easter service from our couch.
No dresses, big lunch or tons of baked goods.
Flour is too hard to find.
We have plans to order in for dinner since going to the grocery store requires a mask, gloves and waiting in long, measured out lines.
I miss my church family and my actual family, that we'd probably have driven out of state to see this Holy weekend.
But we made due, hiding the few plastic eggs we could find,
not dying real eggs since we didn't want to waste any.
We had to explain that some of the presents weren't shipped
because they weren't deemed essential and were delayed.
This seems more authentic.
Talking about Mary seeing the resurrected Jesus first in our pajamas, the smell of bacon still in the air.
No fussing with new clothes.
No family pictures by the red bud tree
because it's raining.
There's something in the air that feels like the Whos from Whoville just might start singing "Fah-who foris, dah-who doris" because, despite the Grinch, Easter came anyway, as it did all those years ago, without cellophane wrapped baskets and bows. It came without a big bunny bringing presents, tons of candy and food. It came without a special program at church and a packed sanctuary full of lillies. It came without gathering.
Easter came anyway.
Pared down, it feels bigger to me. More.
That in this time of sheltering in place and hunkering down, that we can see more clearly the honest truth of what it means that the tomb was empty.
It means what was thought of as defeat, wasn't.
It's actually victory.
It means that all who embrace the cross has new life.
It means change.
This is such a season for change.
Nothing is the same.
Some of us are handling that better than others.
Some of us are obeying the social distancing rules better than others.
Some of us are offering grace better than others.
Whole states are proving how important a governor is by the way they are being protected or not.
Churches as well.
It is so interesting to think how God is working in all of it.
Breaking down our love of schedules,
Eliminating our ability to ignore unhappiness,
It's been a test of what we think we have control of.
This melting away of comfort,
What remains is so true and pure it hurts.
It is heroism,
It's neighbors delivering food and support to one another.
It's long walks and phone calls.
It's FaceTime and Zoom.
It's gratitude for the helpers like teachers and first responders.
It's an invitation to take a step towards who we were always intended to be.
It's an empty tomb.