And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete
Jesus died my soul to save
My lips shall still repeat
This verse hangs like a banner over my Easter 2015 memories because it is the distilled essence of my Easter 2015 memories. The night before, I stayed up late getting ready--preparing the craft for the kids' church, ironing clothes and readying food for my family. The day dawned early, and Dave was out the door before 6:00. The children and I were supposed to leave at 7:15. Short on sleep and short on time, I nonetheless wanted everything to be perfect on this Easter morning. Our outfits, our breakfast, our attitudes would all be perfection! Surely not too lofty a goal for the pinnacle day of Christian joy and celebration, right?
It was probably about 7:05 when my cotton candy airship began its nosedive. I gathered my kids and tried to lead them in one brief moment of resurrection rejoicing. One of the kids responded poorly, and I throttled down hard, turning on my child to remonstrate bitterly, grossly overstating my case. Then someone had the nerve to complain about a certain item of clothing, and I all but ejected from the cockpit. If you had a transcript of my heart for the next two minutes, it would read something like this: "IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PERFECT! THIS IS NOT PERFECT! THIS IS IMPERFECT AND HARD AND WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE AND IT'S EASTER, FOR PETE'S SAKE, SO WHY ARE YOU NOT PERFECT? AND WHY AM I RESPONDING SO IMPERFECTLY TO YOUR IMPERFECTION??"
Later in the car, when I had reconciled with my children, I was still wrestling with guilt and confusion. Why did I freak out so bad? On Easter, which I love so much? That's when my idol tipped his cap. I've been worshiping my ideal of the perfect Easter morning, I realized. But the only perfect thing about Easter, just like every other day, is the person and work of Jesus.
The rest of my Easter morning continued perfectly imperfect. But there was some measure of peace in my heart, especially as I remembered: He is the only perfection. Through all of history, it's never been about people worshiping or celebrating Him perfectly--to the contrary. That's why we needed Him. That's why He came. That's why He died. And He is risen.
I only have one picture from the morning, and it's a goofy one.
Mike the Knight. If Esme is nearby, so much the better, 'cuz she can be Evie, Mike's sister.
So even my one picture is sweetly imperfect: minus two kids, and with one of the remaining two mostly obscured by plastic armor. But what does that matter?
Christ is risen.