GENDUSA COLUMN: Grandpa’s golden egg of joy

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022

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She was usually in her kitchen by 4 am to prepare for her day. Grandpa (my grandmother) deemed Sunday the most important day of the week, and it required dedication and early rising to make it perfect for all. I recall her preparing the roast, fried chicken, and her heavenly biscuits before Sunday church services. However, there was never a feast like her Easter Celebrations.

Grandpa and Grandaddy hosted most of my cousins, aunts, and uncles for this special day. The food was enough to feed an army, prompting my mother to say each time, “Mama, why do you cook so much food?  Grandpa always replied, “Well, shoot, Elizabeth, I try to prepare everyone’s favorite because my family is my favorite!  And, besides, it’s Easter, for Heaven’s sake!”

Sometimes, practicality takes a back seat to make others feel special.

After washing all those empty dishes after the feast, the famous Easter egg hunt ensued. Each family brought at least a dyed dozen for my grandparents to methodically conceal.

The bright-colored goodies were hidden in bushes, under branches, and budding flowers throughout the yard. The lucky finder of the well-hidden golden egg received a whole one-dollar bill from Grandaddy’s wallet! Of course, Grandpa became a kid again when we would close in on an egg, “You’re getting hot, nope cool, no hotter!!”   

Sometimes, adults need to become as a child to experience unbridled happiness.

“Grandpa, I don’t like it when Easter and Christmas are over!” I exclaimed one day when we were about to head home after an enjoyable time. 

“Now honey, let me tell you something … Christmas and Easter are never over.  Jesus came to us on Christmas and left us around Easter, but guess what?  He returned, and He lives right there in your heart.” With her finger still touching my chest, she continued, “Yep, those holidays are fun, but when Jesus is with you each day, that’s a pure golden joy!”

Sometimes, fun is like a dyed gold egg that eventually cracks. However, the heart that is filled with Christ’s joy last forever.

I was watching a newscast just before Easter Sunday. A television reporter happened upon an elderly Ukrainian woman sitting in a wheelchair outside her bomb-riddled apartment building. The woman’s head was covered with a small scarf, and her age-worn face filled with sorrow. She wrapped herself in layers of clothes covered by a robe used as a coat to keep warm. After speaking to the trembling lady, the reporter felt compelled to help her. It took her a few days to assemble a team to rescue the appreciative frail woman and transfer her to another town for safety. The journalist put aside her own well-being to bring physical and mental warmth to a stranger.   

In acts of kindness, we see the spirit of the living, resurrected Lord.

I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother being alone, dirty, quivering with fear from cold, calculated, evil. I cannot imagine my beloved Grandpa in a dire situation where her only aid would come from a passing stranger. The thought caused me to cry and pray for all who suffer such indignity at the hands of depravity. 

Who would we be without the compassion, kindness, and tenderness bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit? Where would we be today without Christ giving His life for us to live in hope? How could we handle death, fear, rejection, war and strife of any kind without the love of God? I believe we would probably be a bunch of cracked souls constantly searching for another fun adventure yet void of joy. 

Today, the colored eggs are found, and the dinner dishes are put away.

The children will eventually outgrow their new Easter outfits, and leftover jellybeans and half-eaten Peeps will find their way to the trash bins.

Yet, Easter is never over.

War continues in Ukraine, uncertainty surrounds nations, and turmoil seems a constant companion. Even though worries abound and inhumanity continues, hope does thrive. A risen Christ walks among us to point out the strangers who need aid, the fallen who require help to stand, and the broken who need mending. He is the one who provides comfort in worry, strength through sorrow, and the sword to slay evil.   

Grandpa’s life was joyous because she listened to the voice of God daily. She taught me by example to trust that Easter is unending and to believe the words of the Lord, 

“…. And be sure of this…. Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”  Jesus proclaimed after Easter passed.  Matthew: 18:20

Sometimes, we need to be reminded to celebrate such certainty each day.