Like most of you, we celebrated Easter differently this year. We had no grandchildren hunting eggs in the back yard. We purchased no new finery to symbolize a reawakening (or just an excuse to buy new clothes). We attended no special Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or Easter Sunday sunrise services.
We stayed at home. On Saturday we watched our almost-six-year-old grandson hunt Easter eggs via the miracle of smartphone technology. We smiled with each plastic egg he discovered and put in his basket. We FaceTimed with our older grandsons. We planted vegetables and potted flowers. We took a walk, greeted neighbors at a safe distance.
Sunday morning, we met with our Sunday school class through Zoom. We watched two worship services on Facebook; we took communion — red wine and saltine crackers.
We missed the interaction with family and friends, the closeness, the bonds, the fellowship that defines special holidays, especially those as significant as Easter.
Easter 2020 will be the most memorable of my lifetime. The symbolism is undeniable. COVID-19 has plunged the country, the world, into a darkness few of us have ever witnessed. The world is closed. Streets are empty. People are afraid.
We watch daily as death totals rise, grim reminders that we are not in control. We, most of us, practice this new concept we know as social distancing, avoiding human interaction, maintaining a distance of at least six feet. We don masks and latex gloves; we wash our hands and slather on sanitizer.
We order groceries and pick them up at the curb or have them delivered to our home. We order take-out and gladly pay extra for home delivery. We cook. We watch as our hair gets shaggy or reverts to its natural color.
Old sporting events, classic movies, and TV reruns occupy our leisure hours. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku and good novels stimulate our brains. Some of us are fortunate to have jobs that allow us to work from home.
We recognize new heroes — healthcare professionals, truck drivers, grocery store workers. They put themselves at risk, so we don't have to. Farmers and ranchers, too, continue to provide for us.
We settle in. We support each other. We wait.
That's why we needed Easter, even an Easter that found us secluded, separated from what we know as normal, physically apart from those we hold dear, disconnected but not isolated.
We don't know how long this pandemic will last or how many will die. We can't assess the long-term impact the virus will have on society. We know the world economy has taken a hard hit. Recovery will take time.
Folks wonder, when will we get back to normal. I hope we don't. The miracle of Easter is resurrection and renewal. We can be better than we were. I pray that we will be.