I debated all the way up until the night before Easter if I was going to continue the Easter Bunny tradition. We didn’t color eggs, didn’t bake cookies. I tried to stay far away from the commercial Easter things to see if they even got brought up.
A couple weeks ago, Sunshine told me that a REAL bunny could never come into a house and hide eggs and baskets of candy ((Me - ready with the explanation for the tale…)), so it must be a MAN dressed as a bunny that comes into our house and hides things.
I find that really creepy.
Even more, I wanted to kill the Easter Bunny. I wanted to open her eyes to blessings of Spring. I wanted to teach her about Jesus and why Easter is so important.
But I didn’t know what to say. Because I don’t really know. So I took the easy way out and found a cute floppy Easter hat and a chocolate bunny. And made cheesecake. I did happen to purchase the Jesus Storybook Bible, hoping that would help clarify some things. It puts the stories in words that I - er, Sunshine - can understand.
I would really like to get into a church around here. I really would. I’m just having trouble finding my ‘place’ in the ‘spiritual community.’
I’m not a deeply religious person, but I am a Christian. I was baptized and raised Lutheran and thought I would always be. Then I went to an UCC church as a teen that I loved. Everyone was very open and accepting. At one point, our pastors were a gay man and a woman. But they weren’t SO open that it made me uncomfortable, like some churches do. I don’t know how to say this without offending someone (and if I would have ever learned anything, I wouldn’t print something that comes after those words, but here goes anyway)…The kind of churches where they expect you to share feelings and hug people and throw your hands in the air and cry and stuff…that scares me. Because I’m a very personal person. (Says the girl with the weblog.) There are a lot of things that never leave my head. That never leave my house. My friendships, my family. Also, I don’t like touching strangers and I don’t like them touching me. My church growing up, you shook hands. Unless it’s cold and flu season, I’m okay with shaking hands. But hugging??? Not for me. I can see how lots of people would love to have a loving environment like that, but it’s not for me. At all.
I also do not like ‘spreading the gospel’ and preaching my beliefs. I like that everyone has their own ideas on life. I don’t like people trying to convince me to change my beliefs - and doesn’t it all come down to the Golden Rule?? Some churches really push this and I refuse.
The sub pastor at my UCC church is a great man. He’s getting pretty old now, so I don’t see him much. But he’s been a beacon of hope since I met him. When we were living in a gutted shell of a house - my mom fresh from open-heart surgery with no money and four kids - these people put us up in an apartment until we could make our house livable and did everything they could to help with the house. When his wife found out I was living away from home, going to school and work both full time, she picked me up and took me straight to the Driver’s Testing Center to get my license. When I hadn’t spoken to them in a couple of years and tragedy struck, they came within an hour of our call (then waited nearly 12 hours) to baptize my daughter and send her to heaven with a given name.
He gave me real, honest answers about religion. When I told him I didn’t believe all the stories in the bible were true, he told me that it was there to believe if I wanted it, but mostly to help me along my own path. When I asked the difference of UCC to Lutheran, he told me Lutherans sing more (we do!). I told him I didn’t believe God needed me to go to church to show my love and he agreed. He told me that it shouldn’t be about redeeming your sins or being heard - but about having a large, supportive family and a place to learn and talk about God.
And that’s exactly what I want. I want a place where I can meet people that believe what I do. Where I can make friends and get to know new people. Where people aren’t going to expect anything from me.
I know fear is driving this indecision. I’m scared to start a new routine. I’m scared to meet new people. I’m scared we’ll get settled there and end up not liking it. I’m scared it won’t be like I remember.
But one thing is for certain: The choice made by two individuals Easter morning to not clean up their rooms first thing and not wake up the parents and to just go ahead and dig into the candy led to the ultimate decision that Mr. E. Bunny will not be visiting our house next year. And I will not be one of those parents scrounging up whatever they could find left on the Wal-Mart shelves at near midnight just to keep the stinkin’ tradition alive.