Easter is a time for caring, comforting | Faithful Living

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

--John F. Kennedy

I’ve always enjoyed dyeing Easter eggs but I’m faced with a dilemma this year: all three Klope kids have made other Easter plans. Good thing I have hens who lay beautiful brown eggs like there is no tomorrow. I’ll shortcut the entire process, place a few of their eggs in a basket, and make believe the Easter Bunny has come for a visit. No muss, no fuss this year.

Instead, I’ll focus on the heavenly and consider some ways to respond to the accounting of Christ’s death and resurrection. Hoping for greater insight, I read in the book of John this week. Penned by the Apostle John, son of Zebedee and brother of James, sometime between A.D. 85 and 90, the book provides a personal and powerful account of Jesus through the eyes of this devoted follower.

It is his description of the final moments Jesus hung on the cross that has colored my view of Easter 2012 and here’s why. John records that when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing together, there at the foot of the cross where he hung, he understood their trauma, sense of loss and need for mutual support.

He said to his mother, “Here is your son,” referring to the disciple standing beside her. To the nearby disciple he commented, “And here is your mother.”

It is recorded that from that time on, this disciple took Mary into his home, where they served each other as mother and son.

Think for a moment about Christ’s words and the time they were uttered. He had been tortured and humiliated for hours and neared death.

Yet, Christ spoke words that reflected His compassion, concern and desire to comfort others --- the very things each one of us need from time to time in our lives.

The time is ripe that we express our gratitude and focus on areas where we can make a difference, right here on our beautiful island. It’s time we test our capacities to reach out and care for those around us --- in spite of some of our own worries.

It is possible, honorable and worthy to step beyond our piles of laundry, that frustration with a boss, the worry that comes when managing the affairs of an elderly parent, that car payment and the child that won’t pick up when you call to find creative and meaningful ways to demonstrate love for those who would like to be cared for this Easter.

So dye those perfectly hard-boiled eggs. Then give them to someone who needs to be cheered. Call a relative and express your love. Hug the child who frequently resists your touch.

Join forces with churches, social agencies and committed volunteers who are working right here on the north end of Whidbey to provide necessary services to those in crisis and transition.

Above all else, care deeply --- out of gratitude for the great love of God.


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