“Mom, are those macaronis done?”
I stirred the blue box of macaroni and cheese, adding sharp cheddar cheese a little at a time.
“I’m stirring them now, Honeybear.”
“Mmmmmmmm, they sure smell good.” Underneath the silence, I could hear the profound coming to the surface. “I wish I could see that smell.”
See that smell. While my brain was still picturing what this yummy smell might look like, Cami started giggling. “I’d be a Smell-a-Seer!”
Wow. What an incredible child God gave me. My favorite place to be is home with her, hanging out with her, listening to her. I learn so much from our conversations.
One Good Friday, I was driving her to a play date when she started clapping her hands. She said excitedly, “Easter’s almost here! That means the Easter Bunny will come and leave presents for everyone!”
At no time did we ever say to Cami, “On Easter, the Easter Bunny hops to your house and brings you presents.” When she was young, she received an Easter basket every year, a basket or bucket filled with many books, some games, and minimal candy. My sister and I received Easter baskets, so I guess I was just carrying on like I was raised.
This day, my heart sank to hear her Easter excitement connected to a make-believe figure that really doesn’t have any good history to him. I mean, who thought up the Easter Bunny anyway?
I said, “But Cami, the Easter Bunny isn’t the best reason we celebrate Easter, right?”
“Right.” Was that disappointment I heard in her voice? I started silently scolding myself for being such a spiritually lax mom. I determined to speak the truth, to pull the Eternal out into the open for my daughter.
“Why do we really celebrate Easter, Cami?”
“Because Jesus died.” She was thinking hard now.
“Well, not only because He died, but because He didn’t stay dead. He isn’t in the tomb anymore. If you go to Jesus’ tomb today, you’ll see that it’s empty. There’s no body buried there.”
Her voice started growing in excitement. “That’s right. He’s alive, and anyone who loves Him and believes in Him will never die. And He lives in my heart.”
We drove on a bit, talking about how everyone dies because our bodies aren’t made to last forever. For those who believe in Jesus, when they die here on Earth, they move to Heaven and get a new body, a better body, one that never hurts or gets sick. I knew her 5-year-old mind couldn’t grasp all that. My 40-something-old mind didn’t grasp all that. I just believed it.
A few minutes passed, and she said, “Well, I believe in Jesus, so I’ll live forever!”
I said, “I believe in Jesus, too. And so does Daddy.”
She said, “And Amy does. And Katie. And Bela and Kaya believe in Jesus.”
“I think you’re right, Cami.”
Silence again. And then: “Mommy, does Kevin believe in Jesus?” Kevin lived across the street. I talked to his mom quite a bit, but I had no idea where the family stood spiritually.
I had to say, “I don’t know if Kevin believes in Jesus or not, Cami.”
She said, “Well, the next time I see Kevin, I’m gonna ask him if he believes in Jesus. And if he doesn’t believe in Jesus, or even knows who He is, then I’m gonna tell Kevin about Jesus.”
My daughter’s faith overwhelmed me. I was amazed at her childlike trust that what Jesus said is true, that He loves her and wants to be with her.
The next day we were out and about, and Cami was totally quiet in the back seat. I asked her what she was thinking about.
“Spring. And why Easter has to be over.”
We talked about how Jesus being alive is never over. Because that’s why we celebrate Easter, it can be Easter every day of the year if we want it to be.
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean it will always look like spring.”
No, Dear Ones, it won’t always look like spring. The seasons will always change; God promised us that (Genesis 8:22).
But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is steadfast. He is faithful. He holds everything together (Colossians 1:17).
And He is alive.