“We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
It’s been a good Easter. The family has been together a lot. My mother-in-law, Silvana, has also been here. She is really sweet. She took all of the kids one night so Angelica and I could have a date for the first time in who knows how long. Having small children is wonderful, but being alone with your wife now and then is worth gold. But the weird thing… not long after you leave your children, you start missing them, even though you finally got the chance to get away for awhile.
I think what made it such a nice Easter celebration was that it got off to a wonderful start. On Friday morning I had planned to sleep in, but our bed got invaded very early by creature who looked just like our kids. Oh great, I sighed, there goes my much needed rest. But after doing my ritual stretching and eye-opening exercises I started to feel good, a feeling that also came from the peaceful serenity of the moment; there we were, all five of us, lying next to each other, and it was calm. Yes, calm. No kids jumping on my stomach. No teasing. No whining. Then Clara leans over to her mother, puts her hands on Angelica’s cheeks, and says: “Love…”
While Angelica is in tears from hearing Clara attempting to say “I love you” for the very first time (at least so we could understand her), Johannes is the next to surprise us. He said: “You know, I would die for Clara!” Hearing him, but not altogether ready for such profound words so early in the morning, I said: “What!” He answered: “If something bad was about to happen to Clara, and she might die, then I would want to die in her stead. Because I have lived so long, but she has her whole life in front of her.” Without saying much I just hugged him. He sure has his good moments.
Then Angelica and I looked at each other. We were thinking the same thing: Where does all this love come from? Not that I think we are an unloving family, but our regular mornings don’t usually spoil us like this. Maybe that was the answer: This was not a regular morning. Instantly I remembered. It was Easter Friday. That was day our Lord and Saviour suffered and died on the cross, for the sake of all mankind. At times you just have to follow your heart, so I grabbed the Bible and asked if I could read something for everyone. No one protested (another miracle). So I opened the Gospel of Luke and read his account of the last supper, the suffering in Gethsemane, the false trails, and the final degradation of Jesus when he was nailed on the cross.
After finishing we spoke with our children about the atonement of Christ, and how blessed we were to have felt His unconditional love in our lives, also this very morning. I am convinced that having that peaceful start of Easter made it much better than what it otherwise would have been. But it wasn’t thanks to us. It was thanks to Him! He knew what we needed.
But you know, what we need is no different from what you need. We all need God’s love. It’s the only sure remedy for all the corners of this ol’ world – your’s too.