Hi M,

Jen & M (Easter)

How fun to discover the wonderful world of dresses (Easter dresses) and toys in the same week!

M, speaking of Easter, your grandpa may have mentioned we tend to be pretty festive people, there are many days that we celebrate. Easter is one of those days. Often my thoughts have turned to … how to explain Easter to you. Understanding this story is days ahead, but wanted you to hear the first telling of this story.

It’s is called, “What Happened to Your Hand?”

Have you ever met a little girl who just bounced because she had so much energy and was having so much fun with just life? That was Rebecca B. She was extremely active … or collapsed, fast asleep.

It seemed that she knew everyone, or acted like it. Talked and smiled before sunrise until after sunset. She had a thousand comments and questions for everyone. She was a fun and curious little girl.

Waking up she smiled. At meals she smiled. During chores she smiled. Caring for her brother she smiled. In the synagogue she smiled. She was just a happy child.

One day it was announced that her uncle and his wife were coming. A census was being taken and her father’s brother and his father’s brother’s wife were coming to town. They had just married the year before and had no children.  No children to play with, but that was ok. He uncle and aunt were coming. The excitement built day after day in anticipation of the arrival of Uncle Philip and Aunt Grace. Like Rebecca needed more excitement. The sun came up … excitement. Found a roster feather … excitement. Dad came home from work … excitement. A new bow to wear in her hair to synagogue on Saturday … excitement. You see what we mean? Seems she had told everyone their names and that they were coming.

Far outside the city gate she saw them. It was amazing how far her voice carried. Philip and Grace knew they knew family was coming. Rebecca’s home was ready for guests. They had prepared a place for them to sleep, bought extra food. At the marketplace they had a purchased an extra helping of dates.

Soon they were eye to eye. Hugs. Laughter. They were happy to be there and Rebecca’s family was happy to have them. Rebecca was so happy to have them there that when they got to the house and prepared to eat, and started to bless the food (and the extra dates) she watched with wide open eyes. She sat right next to her Uncle Philip. As they laughed, and ate and told stories, Rebecca got caught up in the moment, some call it carried way, not paying as much attention as she should, she started eating the dates from Philip’s plate. Pretty soon their eyes caught hers. Everybody stopped. As Uncle Philip smiled at her. She just said, “We’re buddies aren’t we?” Smiled and ate another one of his dates. Everyone laughed. She was a “let everyone join in the fun” girl.

They had a fun meal and night.

There had been a lot of talk in town among the adults, especially the elders at the synagogue that in the big city over something had happened. A very fun day had turned pretty dark. One day, the Sabbath, they had an impromptu to parade for a man.  Put him on a donkey (that must have been fun) and sang. (Rebecca loved to sing.) They sang hosanna songs, but before the week ended … something sad happened. There had been some trouble. Not sure what that meant. Rebecca had heard about the parade, but the big people spoke in whispers about later in the week. Hmmm.

One day the whole family, the whole extended family went for a walk. Rebecca loved to go for walks. It was amazing what she could find on the road. They were treasures for her. And the road between their village, Emmaus and the big place, the big city was a great place to find treasures. It was a thousand mile road (actually seven … but to her … a thousand miles) and even walking part of it was fun. And with the thousand miles … a thousand smiles.

A couple of big people were coming. They looked very serious as they stopped for a moment to talk to her family. Rebecca just walked a few feet ahead and played, looked and twirled. You can get a dizzy when you twirl too much.

As she was playing, another man walking by himself approached. Rebecca, a little dizzy from the twirl, though he was her Uncle Philip, reached up and took hold of his hand.

The family and the two looked at the approaching man with caution, but Rebecca was with him. She actually looked pretty comfortable with him. Se just smiled at him. He smiled at her.

Before the family could move toward her, they heard her say to him, “What happened to your hand?”

There was a pause. Even her parents stopped.

He said, in a quite voice, almost a whisper to her.

The day before the Sabbath was a sad day. My hand was hurt.

(One day another friend would ask to see his side. It had been hurt also. One day many friends would ask to see his feet. They had been hurt also.)

He said, but I am OK now. And you know what? I am going home.

Thinking about her home and preparing for guests, Rebecca asked. “What is your home like?”

My home, he said.

I live in a beautiful place.

A great city.

Many great places to live. Some call them mansions.

Gates made out of pearls.

Streets made out of gold.

Amazing music always being sung.

Treasures. (Remember Rebecca loved treasures.)

It almost seemed if Rebecca’s eyes got bigger.

She looked again at his hand.

He continued.

Sometimes a hurt hurts and it brings tears to your eyes, but in my home every tear is dried. Every hurt healed.

Rebecca began to smile at that thought.

And little one, do you want to know the best thing about my home?

Rebecca, who was never short of words could barely speak.

He said, “It is my father’s house.”

I would love for you and your family to come someday.

She smiled. He smiled.

The two men walked on. So did the soft-spoken friend.

They watched them walk into the distance.

Rebecca had not only found the best treasure ever … a new friend … but told everybody in the whole town… that she was going to his house someday.

Love you little one,

gc

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