It is amazing to me that most things I remember from my childhood make me smile, laugh, and remember the good times. I don’t remember the things and money we didn’t have, but it reminds me of having each other.
As I prepare for Easter (Resurrection) service, a childhood memory comes to mind. I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. It was a school day when we (my siblings and I) were running a little late, and as we were walking out the front door my stepfather shouted, “not so quick, I need to speak with you in the family room.” As if we were enlisted in the United States army, about-face was his command, and like soldiers, we obeyed, lining up from oldest to the youngest.
My facial expression said it all. What on earth could he want now? Didn’t he know this delay would make us late for school? “A quarter is missing from your mother’s dresser?” he said furiously. My mom kept a pile of coins on her dresser, so many coins who would know a quarter was missing. Obviously, my stepfather. As if he had taken the time to count each coin and knew that it was a quarter missing and not two dimes and a nickel, five nickels, or 25 pennies. As always, His timing was less than perfect.
For the next 45 minutes or so, we were detained. Although it was not a courtroom, we stood there as if on trial for murder, one by one pleading our innocence.
“Who did it?” He asked. Simultaneously, we answered, “I didn’t do it.” As the hands on the clock ticked away, I remember thinking, could someone please confess so we can go to school. Everybody felt the same way because, in a matter of minutes, we were all pleading for someone, anyone, to confess and return the coin(s). Then he resulted to ask us individually, “was it you?” “I would never do that was one reply.” He continued to go down the line, seeking a confession. We swore we didn’t do it.
I only knew that I wanted to go to school. Surely, we didn’t need to miss school for this. Completely tired and ready to go. I remember as clearly as day asking my younger brother to confess to the missing quarter so we could go to school. He was strong, and punishments never seem to bother him. The rest of us didn’t care if he did it or not. We just wanted to go to school.
Why did we think that he should confess to doing something he was not responsible for? Why should he protect a third party, or be induced through coercive interrogation techniques?
Eventually, my younger sister was allowed to go to school. She was the baby, and at the time, that was reason enough, and soon, we were all released and set free to go to school without punishment.
The Easter story is a reminder of how amazing God is. Like that day with my siblings, God set us free from the stain of sin. The gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. He died for each of us. If you had been the only one, He still would have died on my behalf. And all He asks is that we love each other. He took the punishment (sins) of the whole world past, present, and future so that you and I could have eternal life. He paid it all.