What does Easter mean to you?
Never a consistent churchgoer as an adult, I’ve had a complicated relationship with God since we learned my little sister has a fatal disease with no known treatment or cure the year I turned 24. Though I didn’t blame Him for the tragic flaw in Taylor’s genes, I couldn’t imagine going to church on Sundays. It just didn’t feel right to sing joyful hymns while Batten disease worked its silent dark magic.
I still don’t make it to church except for once in a blue moon. But though I don’t often put on my Sunday best and fight traffic to visit the stately church in uptown Charlotte where I was baptized, I talk to God every day. I pray more than I ever prayed in all of the years I participated in youth group and went to Sunday school and sang in the choir and rang handbells and dragged my feet as my family rushed to make it uptown for the 11 a.m. service. I talk to Him when I run for Taylor. I talk to Him when I find myself atop a high mountain ridge or deep in a glacier-carved canyon. I talk to Him late at night after my husband thinks I’m asleep, as I lie in bed and stare into the blackness and imagine what it would be like to be blind.
I used to ask God to let my sister live.
Now, I ask Him to give her happiness. I’m not sure what that means, and I think it means something different now than it did when I first asked for it. But I trust that He understands.
Easter celebrates God’s greatest miracle: the resurrection of Christ and eternal life, the gift we received as a result.
For me, Easter is also a celebration of life in the face of death; it’s a reminder that love conquers hate; it’s proof that even in the wake of the worst possible kind of heartbreak, the world is full of great beauty.
You only have to believe.