Chicken pox ruins your life when you’re six years old. I began to notice a few irritated bumps a couple of days before Easter when I was six. At first, the six-year-old mind registers the Pox as somewhat of a Godsend. Olivia had the chicken pox and she didn’t have to go to school for a whole week.
And the visions start popping into your head. Mom and I could hang out all day and go shopping. I could watch back-to-back episodes of Little House on the Prairie and Dukes of Hazzard. And then, of course, get my Wonder Woman underwear on and watch the captivating goddess of justice and truth bewilder evil with her wristbands and shockingly-cool invisible plane.
And then there was the unlimited ice cream supply that went along with chicken pox. For some reason, when you’re six, the remedies for certain ailments always kind of overlapped. Whatever disease I had at the moment, I always hoped it was that unlimited ice cream and jell-o one. Oh man, chicken pox were a dream.
Until reality hit. My mom, apparently a share-holder in the Calamine lotion industry, pretty much baptized me in the stuff. If memory serves, I think she actually unscrewed the shower spigot and McGyvered up some way to feed Calamine through the showerhead. It was like being drowned in Pepto Bismol without the pleasant, non-chalky aftertaste.
Not to mention the horror imposed when the dreaded quarantine was put into effect. I am a fairly social person, and while I don’t need to be talking to someone all the time, I do enjoy people being around. And so, when I was told I couldn’t go play with my friends because of the pox, I felt like my mom had actually betrayed me to the dark forces.
And then Easter hit. We lived in a parsonage next door to the church my dad was the pastor of, and I remember lying on the couch as the world-famed Plymell Union Church Easter-Egg Hunt got underway. All of my traitor, non-poxed friends were squealing with extreme exuberance that morning. I think, in fact, they had bullhorns so that it was certain that the invalid on the couch would feel even more pathetic as she listened to the entire congregation gorge their baskets with plastic eggs and those malted Chocolate Robin Eggs for which I would have gladly sold my soul. I was in a pink, crusty agony.
But then, a miracle. Bunches of people were standing outside the window, calling my name. I hoisted myself off the couch and looked out the window. A bunch of my friends were there, standing outside with a basket pregnant with chocolate. Olivia came to the door and talked to me for a few minutes, risking her life as she talked to my plaque-ridden self. She actually gave me a hug and left me with a hundred thousand Chocolate Robin Eggs.
And isn’t that just like Easter. Out of the bad, the good. Out of the melancholy, the joy. Out of the death, the life. Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, three days after his death, not only because it’s fairly amazing that a person came back to life. We celebrate because Jesus not only died for us, but rose for us too. We get to ride on the coattails of a God of grace. And because he beat death, we get to as well. All this and Heaven too.
As a Christian, I will spend this weekend with my family, thankful that I have a God who has got my back. Because there’s no way on earth I could have my own back.
Regardless of the foulness of our world, regardless of wars and looting and murder and statistics tests, we live lives of hope.
And we can sell our souls for Chocolate Robin Eggs and not despair. Because someone else has bought it back for us.
Sarah Laribee is going home for Easter, and regrets missing Derek’s big day. Congratulations, though, D. That’s a marvelous thing.