Easter Monday

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Today is Easter Monday, and yesterday was perfect. The kind of perfect that isn’t perfect at all which is the way most of my perfection turns out these days.

I woke up early like the women who went to visit Jesus’ tomb. It was Easter, and I had work to do. I had pork tenderloin to wrap in bacon which symbolizes freedom from the Old Law. Or it symbolizes that I had pork in my freezer. Whatever. Bacon is from Jesus.

Sidenote: Bacon is not from Jesus. Jesus never ate pork. I have a hard time understanding Jesus as fully human without bacon. Or as fully divine. I have not yet reconciled all the disparate parts of my faith.

Anyway. I woke up early. I prepped our last-minute, throw-it-together Easter dinner. I congratulated myself for being on top of all the details.

And I congratulated myself for setting the coffee maker on auto the night before which is the mama’s version of resurrection.

And I congratulated myself for also remembering late at night to let the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny in the door, both of whom broke with tradition by arriving completely sober and without chips.

And I congratulated myself for being kind to all my children in the morning, even the ones who demanded breakfast as though the mountain of chocolate and jellybeans was insufficient.

And then I ran out of time and became just a little defensive, bitter and angry.

And also a tiny bit self-centered.

And sort of sigh-ish and blame-y because Greg had 45 minutes to get ready, and I had 5 minutes, and oh, mornings. Especially church mornings. So full of promise and imminent failure.

I shoved my family out the door toward church, shooing them like bedraggled geese. Go, go, go. And I finished grooming myself and followed them with secret bits of self-reproach stuck to my clothes.

The sun was shining, though, which ruined everything if everything was my melancholy, and I realized I was celebrating Easter in grand tradition, just like Jesus’ disciples who meant well, started strong, and then fell asleep on the job and, generally speaking, totally blew it.

I have often wondered if the Church is the right place for me. Wondered, questioned, doubted, retreated, cautiously reengaged. It’s an old story for people in my generation. I look at the Church and our mangled message of Love which doesn’t look like Love at all when it uses words of superiority and condescension and control and distrust, and I feel like Mary at the tomb; They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve put him. But yesterday, I sat at the empty tomb while my pastor, Lynn, who claimed the unwanted and unexpected title of Widow last fall, and who knows what it means to lose her friend, preached news of Joy and Celebration and Restoration and Resurrection and Light.  Light as a result of suffering. Light which shines because the vessel broke and let Love leak out all over us.

I remembered at the last minute that Jesus entrusted the entire Love message to a bunch of yahoos he called friends. A wild, unruly crowd of rule breakers, doubters, deniers and failures. People who blew it. And I thought, yes. These are my people. This band of misfits who got it wrong and wrong and right.

I didn’t set my oven timer right yesterday, and the pork was done an hour early. We ate at the wrong time, as soon as food was finished. We staged our usual obnoxious, slightly (totally) unsafe Easter egg hunt using principles from the Hunger Games. By the end of the day, my littlest boys and their cousin were down to their undies, playing in water from the hose and spraying each other in the face which was unkind. There was laughter and then yelling. And then laughter. And then yelling. The push-me-pull-you of imperfection, which is the root of friendship. And the beginnings of faith.

The Easter Bunny had a drink, and so did the Tooth Fairy. All afternoon. And we all sat in the sun until late, late, late. Because Love came back to life.


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22 responses to “Easter Monday”

  1. I always assumed that in a missing gospel, Jesus ate bacon publicly to drive home the point that he fulfilled the Laws. But that’s probably reaching.

    (I don’t actually have to worry about whether or not Jesus ate bacon, since I’m no longer a believer, but it’s loads of fun to speculate. And I love Beth, and Beth’s blog, because believer or not I am HUMAN and so is she – BEAUTIFULLY so. And I can appreciate and dare I say learn from Beth even if we aren’t sisters in skydaddy because we are sisters in LIFE. <3)

  2. Thank you for posting this again, it was beautiful! Our Easter this year was full of melt downs and magic all at the same time, as it should be I suppose.

  3. I’m new around here. The story is wonderful, but your writing – I have been trying to think of a way to say how much I appreciate it in a way that isn’t so obviously inadequate when viewed in proximity with what you have written here. But I can’t think of a way, so I’ll just say…. wow.

  4. Beth, you are such an inspiration. I have no idea how you manage it, but your honesty is incredibly uplifting, and it makes me feel so much better about my less-than-perfect moments.

  5. We had a fairly pleasant Easter meal with the in-laws (an Easter miracle!); however, I did feel the need for some liquid Resurrection afterwards. You know, if you think about it, Maker’s Mark is kind of a religious name. Whoever the maker, it hit the mark.

    I’m finally learning to to rake my miracles in whatever form I find them…

  6. This was so, incredibly beautiful. My day was exactly the same as yours. I mean, different details of course, but, really, those don’t matter. As a raised-a-fundie who only recently was able to really see The Light all around (let alone let it in), I was with your every word. Thank you.

  7. how do the guys get out of all this stuff? It took Mr. R 15 minutes from bed to running car. I however…..planned the easter basket presents based on each child’s needs and likes, found the baskets (which necessitated a flashlight at midnight the night before by the way), and the easter grass, and the plastic eggs, filled the eggs, boiled the eggs, bribed the teenager to dye the eggs with the littles (whoohoo), filled the baskets, oh….we aren’t even to easter yet!
    Got up early, hid the goodies, made a big breakfast, found everyone’s easter best, french braided some lovely blond hair, got the coldest shower in the house, and somehow was in trouble for being the last one out the door!!! Mind you, I am not complaining. Well…until the cold shower part….

    • Well, I admit I’ve assumed this. As a (mostly) law-abiding Jew, Jesus wouldn’t have eaten pork, or really have been around it, since Judaic law prohibits its consumption.

      Gotta say, though, that Christopher Moore’s “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Jesus’ Childhood Pal” is one of my favorite books. Perhaps one of my Top Ten Desert Island Books. (Like, if I get stranded, I’m gonna hope to find a copy of Lamb to keep me company.) In it, Moore outlines the decades missing from Jesus’ life in the Bible, and, well, let’s just say that Moore makes a case for all kinds of crazy stuff that could’ve happened. Including, maybe, bacon.

  8. Wow, your day started out like mine. I felt bad because by the time I got everyone out to the car, we were late, late again, and I don’t like making others put out for me, (Jeff did the same thing, woke up 10 minutes before we were heading out the door and decided he was coming too). Then we had a melt down with my oldest, so by the time I got to church all the sweet happy feelings I had at first had disappeared and I was simply trying to not snap at anyone. Sorry I wasn’t more chatty, and thank you for saying hi, that really helped me. It helped me pull myself out of the crappy feeling that was trying to grab me. (and I love your take on bacon) ;o)

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