I went into the dining room to tend our altar, turn our crucifix around to show Jesus once again. A longstanding Catholic tradition dictates that there be only bare crosses in our homes and churches during Lent. All during Lent, Owen would look over to the altar and ask, "Where's Jesus?
As I approached the altar this morning, I noticed the cross had already been turned around. The words to an old Dolly Parton song came to mind (yeah, I grew up in the 70s.):
"He's alive and I'm forgiven. Heaven's gates are open wide."
Today that was a more magical feeling than the promise of hidden eggs full of candy. I hope my children one day feel the same way about Jesus that they do about those candy-laden egg. But my hope and gratitude lies in the knowledge of forgiveness as I struggle and fail. Their innocence protects them from that for now.
Today is Easter and for the first time in many years, I successfully gave something up for Lent. And for me, success looks like a daily struggle and a triumph that I can only attribute to a power greater than myself whom I choose to call Jesus.