I must admit this Easter I just wanted to make it to church and back in one piece with three babies dressed in their Easter outfits…and to be wearing something other than my maternity jeans and a streteched out t-shirt covered with spit-up. That’s it. And it happened! With the help of my amazing husband and wonderful friend, Katherine, we got the babies to church in their adorable outfits with only a small amount of slobber and drool! I made it through a few songs on the back row, though I can’t tell you what we sang as I watched the baby in the stroller, the baby in David’s arms and the baby in Kathy’s arms. Yes, it was close to their being hungry and I wanted to avoid all-out daycare special FX sounds by heading to the Nursing Moms Room on time. …We made it! And I did it!! I nursed all three babies out – my first time ever! I’ve nursed two away from home before (most recently tandem nursing in the back of the van in the mall parking lot!) but never all three. This is only made possible by my current fastest nurser. The service ended, I finished nursing and it was time to head out. I was anxious because I knew they would be exhausted and there would be little avoiding three screaming babies on the way home – not to mention we hadn’t even placed our order for lunch (that’s right, take-out for Easter) and I figured naptime for them would be non-existent. I was steeling myself for what was to come. The Lord piled mercies upon us. The drive home was rather bearable, actually! And the babies slept long enough when we got home that we were able to eat lunch! Oh, you’ve never tasted such mashed potatoes – or asparagus!! Delish!!! We pushed the limits when we decided to try to lie down for 30-45 minutes for a nap. Five minutes later, that daycare special FX I mentioned earlier? Yeah. Oh well.
But that isn’t the point of this post. The night before we began watching The Passion of the Christ which I hadn’t seen in several years. We were so tired that we figured we’d finish watching it after we put the babies down Sunday afternoon. The life-like portrayal of His death and resurrection stopped me. How can I be concerned with ribbons, bows, dresses and no spit-up when He lay naked on a Cross for me? How can I continue in my sinful attitudes when He bore so many lashes of the whip? How can I continue with my arrogant thoughts when He endured the slaps from hands that only a few days before waved at Him in excitement as He entered the city? How can I forget His love and react in anger towards my husband and others around me when He prayed for His Father to forgive His killers? How can I allow my heart to grow bitter and resentful when He patiently withstood the mocking of those who once called Him “friend?” How can I minimize my sin when He allowed His hands and feet to be pierced with mighty nails for ME? How???
I know this is what Easter is all about. I know it. I knew it even as I woke up Sunday morning telling my babies “He is risen!!!” But I had allowed the “everyday” to creep in and steal from me the reality of what it is He has done for me – of His love for me! Oh, that I would remember these moments of awe in those everyday moments! (Romans 7) Oh, that I would remember this gory pageant full of hidden triumph that looks foolish to those who do not know. Praise Him for mercy and grace that patiently draws me to Him, that is (little by little) making me look like Him, that loved me enough to die for me – to take the punishment for my sin that I deserved.
THE LOOK, by John Newton
I saw one hanging on a tree in agony and blood
Who fixed His loving eyes on me as near His cross I stood
And never till my dying breath will I forget that look
It seemed to charge me with His death though not a word He spoke
My conscience felt and owned the guilt and plunged me in despair
I saw my sins His blood had spilt and helped to nail Him there
But with a second look He said “I freely all forgive.
This blood is for your ransom paid. I died that you might live”
Forever etched upon my mind is the look of Him who died, the Lamb I crucified.
And now my life will sing the praise of pure atoning grace that looked on me and gladly took my place
Thus while His death my sin displays for all the world to view
Such is the mystery of grace it seals my pardon, too.
With pleasing grief and mournful joy my spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy yet live by Him I killed.
P.S. Happy Birthday to my favorite-est sissy in the whole world! 30 years! I love you!!!!!!!!!! =)