Easter at church was scary for my disabled son.
As a child, he saw the flannel graph pictures of Jesus being dragged to Calvary and hung on a cross. He saw the pictures of Mary mourning at the foot of a bloody wooden crucifix. The pictures frightened him.
We dreaded Easter when our son was young. The weeks before Resurrection Sunday were filled with nightmares and frightening thoughts. No amount of chocolate Easter bunnies or colored eggs helped soothe his fear. Our son has a form of mental retardation, and with that comes a certain lack of understanding. It sometimes makes something truthful, like the sacrifice of Christ, very difficult for him to grasp.
I worried about his eternal life, doubting he would understand baptism or sin enough to repent or accept Jesus into his life. Until a wonderful man spoke at a church we attended when our son was eleven. He talked about the mercy in the sacrifice of Jesus and how God understands all those who do not.
After the service, I pulled the man to the side and asked if that mercy carried over to a child who didn’t understand? He reminded me my job was to continually expose my son to God. To instill the love of Christ into him. “God understands and knows how He made every individual. His mercy is greater than anything we can imagine.”
When Chase turned thirty, we attended a different church. He came to me one day and asked what he had to do to be a member of that church. I took him to our minister who loving drew him a picture and described sin, repentance, Jesus’ death, and the resurrection in a way I had never heard. When he was done, he asked, “Well, does this make sense?”
Chase nodded and replied, “I guess I need to be baptized.” And that night, at age thirty, he was baptized. That day he came to peace with Easter, and now when he watches the resurrection story, he wipes a tear away.
When you think others could not possibly understand, remember in his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You too will be at peace with Easter.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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