One of my very favorite Easter memories happened nearly 30 years ago, but I can see it as clearly as I could that day. I was part of a small church in Austin, Texas called “Hearts Set Free.” Coming from an ultra-conservative church upbringing, the name was a little strange for me, but it was also a beautiful promise and declaration. How I had longed to come out of the darkness my world had become to enter a world of light and color and peace.
I had recently graduated from culinary school and I loved to share my passion in the kitchen with those around me. I lived in a small cabin on a hill overlooking Lake Travis way out in the middle of nowhere. I loved the peace and quiet.
One Sunday at church we were talking about Easter and I had a great idea: I invited everyone to my cabin to have a sunrise service and then an Easter breakfast. Everyone was so excited. I stayed up the entire night before preparing food, lighting candles and picking out the music. My goal with anything I do is not just cook the food, but to create an environment for people to enjoy and feel comfortable and loved.
People began arriving around 5 a.m., and soon my little cabin was overflowing with friends and excitement. We laughed and sang and shared the love we felt from one another, and especially the love we felt from God. As the time drew closer for the sun to come up, I got more excited. I was exhausted, but elated. Finally the darkness of the pre-dawn sky began to change from jet black to light grey. You could just begin to make out the silhouette of the trees outside. Birds began to sing.
As we began to gather outside, my elation turned to disappointment as a heavy, thick fog rolled in over the lake. It was so foggy, you couldn’t see the lake. The beautiful sunrise I had anticipated was not going to happen. But, I theorized the sun was still coming up, we just couldn’t see it. We began to sing and pray, but my sadness sort of stole the moment.
And then, I heard it…that voice in my head (God, if you will) told me to look down at the ground. It didn’t make sense, but I looked down and to my amazement, the hillside we were standing on was covered with a blanket of tiny wildflowers. I yelled out, “Look at the ground!!” The colors of the sunrise may have been covered by fog, but they were at our feet, all around us. The miracle was that there had been no wildflowers growing on that hill before that morning. If you have seen photos of the blue bonnets and Indian Paintbrushes blooming in Central Texas, you know how breathtaking it is.
The lesson I learned was God understands our disappointments and always provides an answer to them. They may not always happen immediately like the wildflowers that sprang up out of nowhere, but they will happen. The other lesson is to not let ourselves be disappointed by the fog that can often blot out our vision…just look for the flowers. Happy Easter. Namaste. b