My family & I have never participated in rubbing elbows with big furry rabbits or men in red suits & white beards, but rather we stayed more focused on the true & deeper meanings of certain holidays. So you can imagine our chagrin when our pastor asked if Stephen & I would organize this years Easter egg hunt! Really? Out of the entire congregation you thought WE'D be perfect for the job?
This is one of the church's community outreach programs. For some, the brief message that Pastor Joe would give, might be their only time to hear the gospel...So after prayerful discussion we decided we would do it. We've always tried to be aware that sometimes we are 'spoken to' in ways we don't understand. Perhaps by doing this there was something we could learn too; something to expand our faith.
Yesterday went off without a hitch. It was beautiful, sunny & at least 100 kids attended our totally free hunt. Our volunteers had stuffed 2000 plastic eggs, donated 15 premade baskets AND two bicycles! I felt badly that the crowd couldn't quietly listen to Pastor Joe deliver his story using ''resurrection eggs" (each egg held a symbol of Jesus' life journey ending closing with an empty egg when he'd been resurrected) but that's as far as my thoughts went. In all honesty, I was glad things went off without a hitch & was almost over. And hoping that something on a grander scale would be revealed to me was far from my mind.
It wasn't until we got home that Stephen told me of something he witnessed.
Before I continue, let me explain what our process was for the prizes. I had placed 12 specially marked eggs that were in the shape of animals out on the field. They were the only ones of that kind and there was a number on each of them. When the number was called at the end of the hunt the child brought it up & they got to pick out one of the big, filled baskets. All the numbers were called and subsequently all the baskets handed out.
But then a little girl approached Pastor Joe with an ordinary plastic egg. She proceeded to tell him that there had been a number on it but she'd rubbed it off with her finger. He then explained to her that the numbered 'eggs' had also been in the shape of little animals. She stuck to her story so they then went over to talk to her mother, explaining the same thing he had to the little girl. Stephen wasn't able to hear the entire exchange but he did catch him finally saying as he got the little girl's name & address, that "he'd make it right".
I don't know why this struck me as it did. I certainly gave the pastor props for handling it the way he did. I was disappointed to think that I probably wouldn't have done the same. I know the teacher in me was thinking that this would've been a fine opportunity to talk about the dangers of lying or something like that. And then it struck me that he was seeing the bigger picture and what the whole purpose of our outreach egg hunt was about.
So today when we go to the Easter service, we will have a refreshed outlook of the greatest story ever told. Just like with that little girl, we received forgiveness when we didn't even know we should be asking for it. Because of our actions we deserved NOTHING but we were given the most awesome gift of all.
I am hoping & praying that perhaps it will have the same effect on that little girl & her mother.
And I also learned that overlooking details for the bigger picture is sometimes more important.