Alyce Faye Bragg: So much more than bunnies and eggs
Easter was a holiday that we children eagerly anticipated. When the March lion stopped roaring and spring breezes began to caress our land, we knew that it was coming soon. Putting away our heavy winter coats and boots and donning lighter clothing, we were more than ready for the Easter season.
Mom had to start early. With dresses to make for all four girls, the old Singer treadle sewing machine ran almost constantly. Our dresses were a work of art. Made of sheer organdy or dotted Swiss material, they flaunted ruffles, tiers and lace. Mom never used a pattern, but they always fit perfectly. With new white anklets, black patent-leather Mary Jane shoes and ribbons in our hair, we were proud as peacocks.
Daddy insisted that the boys wear new cowboy shirts and hats — to him they were the epitome of style. I remember that Daddy had a turquoise cowboy shirt trimmed with white piping, but he didn’t wear a cowboy hat. If anyone sniggered behind his back, he was blissfully unaware of it. Mom sewed her own dresses also, and altogether we were ready for the Easter parade.
And the food preparation! Mom spent Friday and Saturday baking and cooking. The old gas Servel refrigerator hummed right along, filled with fancy fruit salad, potato salad loaded with eggs, homemade cranberry sauce and all kind of pies. She always made her famous orange-coconut cake with fresh oranges and loaded with coconut. We children watched the preparations and wiggled with excitement. With all the labor she had to do, she still found time to boil eggs and let us color them.
Daddy would get up at the crack of dawn to hurry outside and hide the eggs. Then he would get us up, sleepy-eyed and yawning, to go outside in our pajamas to hunt them. I know it was a sacrifice for Daddy to get up out of a warm bed and do this for us, but now I realize that he enjoyed the ritual as much as we did. If the weather was rainy, he hid the eggs in the house, but that wasn’t nearly as much fun.
After breakfast, it was time to get ready for church. Our shoes and socks would be lined up against the wall and our dresses hung nearby. On Easter Sunday, we lost no time in getting dressed and on our way to church. Of course we knew the Resurrection story; of how Jesus was crucified and rose again, but I’m afraid at that time we were more excited about our new clothes.
It is a source of wonder how a person can be raised in church, have devout Christian parents, know all the Bible stories and yet know nothing about salvation. It is merely words until the realization dawns that my soul is longing for something more.
I was about 12 years old when this happened to me. My soul was overwhelmed with sorrow, and was reaching out to God in repentance and faith. The love of God flooded my soul and I felt such joy that I had never experienced before. In time though, I strayed and got away from God’s love. If I had continued with Him, I could have saved myself much misery and heartache. When you are young and foolish, it seems that the world is waiting for you to experience and explore. We seem to forget the Scripture “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) The reaping can be extremely bitter.
It is a wonderful experience when the Resurrection of Jesus Christ becomes real to you. The knowledge that our Savior, who was without sin, would give His life that we might be redeemed is overwhelming. When I think of all the ugly, vile sins that I committed, it still brings a sorrow to my soul, although I have been forgiven.
The most wonderful part of the Easter season, is that He lives! And because He lives, we shall live also! We who share in His great salvation have a hope beyond this life, eternal in the heavens. I feel sorry for the unbelievers who have no hope. This life on Earth is so very short — I’m glad that there is more to come. I Corinthians 15:19 says “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Thank God we have a hope that reaches farther than this life.
Is Easter all about cute bunnies, baskets of eggs and new outfits? To the little ones, it is. It should be much more to those who have reached the age of accountability, and realize that the Resurrection of Christ has a personal meaning for them — and for everyone.
At the Foot of the Cross
At the foot of the cross, I lay it all down
Everything in my life, that’s hidden deep inside
I give it away, for my Savior to heal
These fears that I have, that I’ve buried for years
At the feet of my Jesus, my heart pours out tears
As I kneel and pray, my thoughts become clear
And I finally see what’s so very dear.
At the foot of the cross, I cry out in pain
Anguishing thoughts pour out like rain
But, amidst these tears, I find a peace so calm
As Jesus scurries in, the darkness fades away
My heart is freed, my mind once again sane
And the past torments I’ve had are forever washed away
My life burns brighter, like the dawning of a new day.
At the foot of the cross, I’m loved and not lost
Where the Holy drops of blood, have paid off sin’s costs
And the Savior was taken, now risen once more
Through the grace of God, the veil was torn
And the world was cast a new rope of hope
Dangling freely from Heaven, climbable by faith alone
To an eternal place, where sin and death are dead.
At the foot of the cross, life can be found
On your knees draped in blood, on Calvary’s sacred ground.
Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at email@example.com or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.