The Easter story, the happy ending in a tale of brutal crucifixion, suggests that there’s a powerful answer to the pain and evil that have touched the world throughout human history. That’s why the Easter narrative can resonate not only with Christians, but in secular society, too. Any story of hope is needed now more than ever, as recent headlines have reminded us.
We don’t know why a gunman would target Jewish-affiliated facilities in Kansas and kill three people, as Frazier Glenn Cross is accused of doing. We’re puzzled by the hatred brewing in Ukraine and Syria, and we’re saddened by the villainous impulse that would inspire gunmen in Nigeria to kidnap 100 teenage girls from a school.
The capacity to be shocked and horrified by such events is perhaps one of the more affirming things about the human spirit. We know that such cruelty is an aberration — that we’re made for something better than bringing darkness to someone else.
Easter speaks to our basic faith that love can transcend aggression, that miracles are possible.
In “Charlotte’s Web,” his classic children’s story, E.B White suggested that belief in miracles is perhaps not so strange a thing when we consider the presence of the overlooked miracles we take for granted. White was writing particularly about the life of a barnyard, where the wonders of pigs and ducks and spiders were spectacles so grand – but so routine – that few visitors thought of them as very special.
Spring is like that, too, of course. After all the drama of ice and frost that visited south Louisiana this winter, the greening trees and emerging blossoms are an extraordinary thing, but they’re a victory we usually overlook
Easter is a day to hold such gifts close to heart, to believe once again in the renewal of spring, and of ourselves.