Finding Jesus in the Egg Hunt

As I read the precious words aloud to my colleague and closest local friend, hot tears spilled onto my cheeks. It was just a text message from my four-year-old daughter’s teacher, and it shouldn’t have impacted me with such force. The message found me in a volatile state of exhaustion and depression and brought with it the kind of joy that has been known to produce tears in some (not usually in me). This is what it said:

“So, sweet story I need to share with you guys. We just hunted our eggs. Everyone sat their baskets down and went to go play. T and I were standing by the baskets talking about a friend that only got 5 eggs. I looked down and E was taking eggs out of her own basket and putting them in her friend’s! Seriously almost brought a tear to my eye. You guys are doing a GREAT job with her!”

Maybe you won’t understand unless you’re a parent. And maybe you won’t understand unless you’re me. For the first time that I can recall, my daughter showed spontaneous compassion. She gave up something of hers to someone who had less, without even being asked. I admit that I wondered how her teachers would handle the egg hunt as I picked out plastic eggs and candy on Wednesday after work. Would each child be told to pick up twelve? I’m so thankful that they weren’t—my child would have missed the opportunity to consider what it might feel like to have five eggs when others had more. She wouldn’t have been moved to a selfless, silent act of compassion. Don’t get me wrong—she’s a delightful child. But she is four, and she has only ever shared with great reluctance or with a timer set to signal her next possession of the shared item. She hadn’t yet developed that kind of empathy that I could see.

I saw Jesus in my daughter. Please don’t be offended by those words—I do realize that many non-believers more readily show these traits than many believers. But in an Easter egg hunt (the kind of thing my dad always said was “pagan”), my daughter reminded me what today through Sunday is all about. She gave up something precious to her for someone else—a gift that cost her what she did not owe. A gift that was not asked for. A gift that may not have been acknowledged or appreciated by the recipient.

That’s what this day represents. You’ll have to all bear with me through the weekend. For so many months I haven’t been able to shift my focus from the evil acts of God in scripture. Today, I can’t stop thinking about the ultimate gift in scripture—his life for mine. The story still gives me hope, and the hope surged within me when I saw the heart of Christ in my daughter during a “pagan” hunt for Easter eggs.

In so many ways, He lives.

The song below is one that my vocal ensemble performed in high school—in a bin in my garage somewhere is a disc with my voice as a soloist. These words still move me every time I hear them, and my daughter’s compassion brought them to mind again yesterday.

“His Life for Mine”

Words and music by Rebecca Peck

“His heart was broken; mine was mended.

He became sin; now I am clean.

The cross he carried bore my burden.

The nails that held him set me free.

His life for mine—his life for mine.

How could it ever be

That he would die—God’s son would die

To save a wretch like me?

What love divine!

He gave his life for mine.

His scars of suffering brought me healing.

He spilled his blood to fill my soul.

His crown of thorns made me royalty.

His sorrow gave me joy untold.

His life for mine—his life for mine.

How could it ever be

That he would die—God’s son would die

To save a wretch like me?

What love divine!

He gave his life for mine.

He was despised and rejected,

Stripped of his garment and oppressed.

I am loved and accepted,

And I wear a robe of righteousness.

His life for mine—his life for mine.

How could it ever be

That he would die—God’s son would die

To save a wretch like me?

What love divine!

He gave his life for mine.”

Image copyright Alexander Shalamov, Dreamstime.com

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3 thoughts on “Finding Jesus in the Egg Hunt

  1. While I am not a parent, I think I have an inkling of what you are saying here. In part, it is in basic human compassion, when we show it, where I am inclined to see that God is, which is probably the main reason I do stay in Church. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. This is such a beautiful story J, and I can relate completely, although I wish I had written down some of the things which my children did to display selflessness because specific examples unfortunately aren’t coming to mind. But I remember the wonderful feeling as I saw them growing up into beautiful, compassionate people.

    I also loved your story of the beer can from your last post – another peek into the warm heart of another person.

    I hope your holidays end up being a positive time with family. I also want to leave you with something I liked that I saw on another blog: “please remember, you don’t have to believe any of the stories to enjoy a seasonal chocolate rabbit!”. There are so many great traditions we can all enjoy whether we believe or not. 🙂

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    • I love the chocolate rabbit quote, Howie! My version of the “chocolate rabbit” will be to enjoy the Easter morning church service with my little family of four (well, three—the toddler will be in the nursery). I will miss the big Easter meal with family, but I’m definitely at least looking forward to a much-needed day off of work.

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