[From Thursday, April 20, 2006]
"Mom, are those macaronis done?" I was stirring the boxed Kraft macaroni and cheese that is only made better by shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
"I'm stirring them now, Honeybear."
"Mmmmmmmm, they sure smell good." Underneath the silence, I could hear the profound coming to the surface. "I wish I could see that smell."
See that smell. While my brain is still picturing what this yummy smell might look like, Cami started giggling. "I'd be a Smell-a-Seer!"
Wow. What an incredible child I have. I love being home with her, hanging out with her, listening to her. I learn so much.
On Good Friday, I was driving her to a playdate. She started clapping her hands and said excitedly, "Easter's almost here! That means the Easter Bunny will come and leave presents for everyone!"
Now, at no time have we said to Cami, "On Easter, the Easter Bunny hops to your house and brings you presents." She does get an Easter basket every year, filled with many books, some games, and minimal candy. My sister and I always received Easter baskets, so I guess I'm just carrying on like I was raised.
But this day, my heart sank to hear her Easter excitement connected to a make-believe figure who really doesn't have any good history to him. I mean, who thought up the Easter Bunny anyway? (Probably Hallmark. Or Hershey's.)
So I said, "But Cami, the Easter Bunny isn't the best reason we celebrate Easter, right?"
"Right." Was that disappointment I heard in her voice? Right about then, I started kicking myself for being such a spiritually lax mom. I determined to speak the truth, to pull the Eternal out into the open for my daughter.
"Why do we really celebrate Easter, Cami?"
"Because Jesus died." She was thinking hard now.
"Well, not only because He died, but because He didn't stay dead. He isn't in the tomb anymore. If you go to Jesus's tomb today, you'll see that it's empty. There's no body buried there."
Her voice started growing in excitement. "That's right. He's alive, and anyone who loves Him and believes in Him will never die. And He lives in my heart."
We drove on a bit, talking about how everyone dies because our bodies aren't made to last forever. For those who believe in Jesus, when they die here on Earth, they move to Heaven and get a new body, a better body, one that never gets hurt or sick. I know her 5-year-old mind can't grasp all that. My 40-year-old mind doesn't get it. I just believe it.
A few minutes pass, and she says, "Well, I believe in Jesus, so I'll live forever!"
I said, "I believe in Jesus, too. And so does Daddy."
She said, "And Sarah does. And Sina. And Bela and Kaya believe in Jesus."
"I think you're right, Cami."
Silence again. And then: "Mommy, does Martin believe in Jesus?" Martin's the little boy who lives across the street. I've talked to his mom quite a bit, but I have no idea where the family stands spiritually.
I had to say, "I don't know if Martin believes in Jesus or not, Cami."
And she said (here comes the profound again), "Well, the next time I see Martin, I'm gonna ask him if he believes in Jesus. And if he doesn't believe in Jesus, or even knows who He is, then I'm gonna tell Martin about Jesus."
Now I'm driving and trying to hold back the tears. And my heart is bursting with gratitude for the missionary heart that God is stirring in my child. And I am overwhelmed at her faith--her childlike trust that what Jesus said is true, that He loves her and wants to be with her.
Yesterday, we were driving to Woodbridge, and Cami was totally quiet in the back seat. I asked her what she was thinking about.
"Spring. And why Easter has to be over." We talked about how Jesus being alive is never over. Since that's why we celebrate Easter, it can be Easter every day of the year if we want it to be.
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean it will always look like Spring."
Wow. My child.