Yesterday I was so flat out exhausted. Todd knew it and offered to take over morning routine today so I could sleep. We’re good that way. I think it is one of the reasons our marriage is strong. We intuit when the other one needs help, validation, sleep. We do our best to give it to the other one. Whoever needs it most.
So I was attempting to sleep in, when my eyes popped open. Easter. It’s the Thursday before Easter, last day before break and my daughter goes to Catholic school. It’s her first year there.
Being a very sensitive child myself, I remember being traumatized by the story of the crucifixion. Why would God allow that to happen to His son? And, why would God give a crap about me if He didn’t bother to help Jesus? Riley is even more sensitive and certainly more literal than I was. We needed to talk. I hopped out of bed, rubbed my eyes and went into her very pink bedroom and shimmied under her covers. She stood there in her uniform, brushing her long hair in front of the full length mirror.
“Riley, they are going to be talking about Easter today, and they are going to be talking about the crucifixion and I want to offer you something to think about when you are hearing all of this.” She knows the crucifixion story, of course, but it hasn’t been hammered into her skull all her life. It’s been on the periphery. “God loves you” is mostly what she’s been told. It’s served her little sensitive Aspergian heart well over the last 12 years.
She stopped brushing and looked at me.
“The real story of Easter, the message of Jesus, is the resurrection. Beaten, tortured, Jesus said, Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”
She gives me a beautiful, soft smile.
I continue, “On the cross, Jesus had every reason to hate, but he didn’t. He saw only love. He saw only love in everyone, even those who ridiculed him. Even those who were actively killing him. He was so tapped into God, he knew so adamantly Who He Was that nothing could make him stop loving. And he said he wasn’t special. He said we all have this power inside us.”
My throat tightens. I am not into religion, but Jesus moves me. He does. The love.
“The real story of Easter is that love cannot be killed. That’s why we’re still talking about Jesus today. The real story is the resurrection.”
Riley tipped her head to the side and thought about this for a moment.
“Thank you for telling me that, Mom,” she said.
In the kitchen while eating breakfast she reiterated our conversation to Todd.
“Nothing can kill love.”
Now, I can rest.