Dyeing for the love of it

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At the children’s Easter Carnival I had the best booth.

Sure, there were egg races and bracelet making and several other exciting stations…

but I was at the egg dying booth. Score!

It was three tables long, with pink, blue, green, yellow, and orange cups, ready to receive boiled eggs.

There were white crayons for drawing names, and special Easter stickers for decorating.

From the moment the event began, our booth was the busiest.  Kids excitedly dunking their eggs, and only cracking a few.

I was heart warmed to see how many kids knew what they were doing, using the old wire tool, or the newfangled plastic tool to escort their eggs from one cup to the next.

It had been 20 years since I’d dyed eggs, but I was happy to see that such traditions live on in many of today’s families.

There was only one problem.

Those darn eggs just wouldn’t get dark.

I don’t know why, either.

The mixture was made with vinegar and water, just like the package suggested. The water was room temperature, also as instructed, even though I remember a lot more vinegar and a lot hotter water when I was a kid.

Anyway, the pink looked pink.  The yellow looked off-white.  The blue and the green looked vaguely blue and green.  The orange looked kind of yellow.

The colors were kind of wimpy.

Not that anyone was complaining.  The kids had a great time.

But some of them left their eggs in the cups for a good 15 minutes trying to get darker, with little discernable difference.

Here’s why I was a little annoyed:  Easter is supposed to be vivid.  Bright.  Deep and colorful.

I was reminded of Holy Thursday services that failed to engage the congregation fully.

And Good Friday services that seemed just a little dull.

And Easter services that seem to be a little less…vivid.

What if that’s what Holy Week is like this year?  Like Easter eggs that are a little less wild and a little more mild.

What if it fails to entertain?  What if the sermon falls flat?  What if the resurrection seems like just another old story?

I don’t know what I’m worried about.  Those beautiful kids at our Easter Carnival had the time of their lives.

They weren’t looking for perfection, or drama, or brilliant colors.

They were thrilled to participate.

(They dyed for the love of it,)

Meanwhile, if you have any concerns about Holy Week being a little weak this year, remember it’s not about the flair of the presentation.

It’s about participating,

and it’s about Jesus,

(who died for the love of it.)

 

Have a great Holy Week,

Mitch

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I Got Egged.


If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Luke 11:13

I got egged last night. (Halloween)

Well, I was the intended target. And I kind of deserved it.

See, I didn’t get home until 9, but I’d left our outside lights on. I wonder how many eager kids rang our doorbell only to be answered by the frustrated “woofs” of our big bear of a dog, Charlie?

Actually, that’s part of the reason I wasn’t home. I just couldn’t picture a whole night of dog eruptions every two minutes. And I hadn’t bought any candy, and we live in a new subdivision, and I didn’t know if there would be many kids anyway. Last year I gained 5 pounds from the leftovers. Either I’d have a Charlie-induced headache from too many kiddies, or I’d have a sugar-induced headache from eating too much candy because there weren’t enough kiddies.

So I went to a movie. God forgive me, I abdicated my role and responsibility as an American homeowner. Instead, I sat by myself in a theater and watched a special screening of Ghostbusters, one of my favorite movies from my late childhood.  It brought back some great Halloween memories.  (Too bad I wasn’t making some for somebody else.)

When I pulled up at 9, I was sure all the trick-or-treaters would be done, but our street was still filled with the sounds of teenagers making their late-night rounds. Sheepishly I pulled into the garage, walked into the house, and turned off the outside lights. I still didn’t have any candy. Time to pretend I wasn’t home.

Then the siege began. If you can call it that.

A handful of neighborhood boys had clearly seen me arrive home and douse the lights.  They wanted revenge. I sat in the dim light of my dining room, my traumatized dog beside me, and I could hear them circling the house, talking.

“He’s in there. I think I can see him.”

“Where’s my egg?”

“No guys, look! That’s him through the window!”

At this point, Charlie could take no more. He bellowed mightily and the boys screamed off into the night. Charlie and I couldn’t help but grin at each other, like the Grinch and his dog Max.

An hour later, Jan was home, and she let our dog out to do his business. He returned inside with something in his mouth.  A whole egg, complete and intact. Those poor boys got neither treat nor trick from me this year.

I did not feel satisfaction at this notion.  Suddenly, I felt terrible! I had missed Halloween.

How many times do you have the opportunity to give gifts to your neighbors? To have them standing at your front door? I blew it, and I knew it.  If I could find those guys I’d tell them I’ve learned my lesson.  Instead, I’ll have to prove it to them.

Next year, I’m gonna be the best house on the street. I may even get full-sized candy bars to pass out! (And toothbrushes?) I’ve been reminded that caring for the children is my responsibility, too. God wants me to give good gifts to these children, just as God has given good gifts to me.

Sorry, kids, you didn’t manage to get any egg on my house, but I assure you…

There’s plenty on my face.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch

photos by Jepster, Julep67