It’s that time of year….when the flowers are budding, the days are lengthening and March Madness is upon us. The cold (if not wet) days of winter are swiftly yielding to warmer ones, and there is no denying things are about to change.
At the mall, the grocery, the pharmacy – everywhere – ….things are looking positively pastel. There are Easter baskets with chocolate bunnies, plastic eggs to fill with prizes and everywhere….everywhere….are those darned Peeps!
No, I’m not actually the spring version of a Christmas Grinch, but I DO have a problem with those colorful, sugary, marshmallow-y fowls this year. See, none of us actually eat Peeps at our house, that is…..not any longer. Brett was the Peep-meister – and he loved them all. The yellow ones, the chocolate covered ones, the flavored filling ones…..if it was a chick-shaped marshmallow covered in sugar, it was soon to be devoured (or bought on post-season sale and stored for later.) So….like so, so many other things that are “firsts”, just looking at those darned Peeps brings a lump to my throat and makes my shoulders drop a little at the thought I won’t be sending off an Easter box of goodies. So I’ve decided to take the mature, mentally healthy and proactive step of starting a petition to BOYCOTT PEEPS!
Come to think of it, no chocolate bunnies either, or peanut butter-filled chocolate eggs, or doorbell-ringing, basket-leaving bunny helpers, no sunrise services and most definitely, on edict of the Queen are there to be no Easter egg hunts throughout the whole land!
OK…..so I got a little drunk with pretend power there. I guess I can’t boycott Peeps – and truth be told, I don’t even really want to. A wise friend, who is nearly 10 years down the road of having lost a child reminded me just today that though these memories and associations can be so painful and even debilitating at times when grief is fresh, they are the same ones that will, in time, bring feelings of warmth and love and fondness over and over again. I’d like to think that is true….and so I shall. And that is an edict I DO have the power to make.
For the Christian, wearing a symbol of the cross brings feelings of gratitude, of respect and of love. We feel that wearing that necklace or tie tack seems to bring honor to the One who sacrificed all for us, but on the day Jesus was crucified, the cross was anything but honorable! It was a symbol of lawlessness, of disdain and of punishment. The very instrument that was used to take the life of Christ is the one we hold most dear today as a symbol of his life.
I know it’s a bit of a stretch (even for me!) to compare the salvation cross to a marshmallow Peep….but for me tonight, that is exactly what God wanted for me to see. The night Jesus died, there was no comfort to be had – no “oh well….it was good while it lasted” for those who loved him – truly loved him. Had there been no resurrection, the symbol of a cross would never have become sacred, or even trendy. It would remain a hideous device of torture and death. But…..because that wasn’t the end….because there was life yet to come from that awful event, the cross is a sign of salvation and hope and life eternal.
These are hard, hard times. But I do believe the day will come when our son’s life is recalled and remembered far more than his passing, and I also know that for him….this isn’t the end – far from it! He is probably exploring uncharted corners of Heaven and getting a huge kick out of me writing about him….and Peeps….and suddenly that doesn’t make me sad at all. It makes me smile. =) And I feel blessed.