I was making banana bread this morning and Malaki brought a stool from one end of the house to the kitchen, put it beside me and said, “Just wanted to see what you are doing Mommy.” Pretty soon, Cora joined him on the stool and all of the sudden I was making banana bread with my arms over my kids. They had a great time. They counted with me and watched me measure; they tasted flour and baking soda. We talked about ages, percentages, heat, messes, and Suzie.
April 7th is Suzie’s birthday. So, in honor of her, I decided to wear a little golden locket that was hers. I usually wear silver or white gold, if I wear jewelry at all, so this stands out. A few days ago, Malaki asked me about it and I told him about her. I told him that she was a very special aunt I had when I was a little girl. She cooked with me, read with me, played with me, did math with me.
And then when I was eleven, she died.
Malaki was very perplexed about this story (understandably so). And since we’ve been talking about Easter, he said, “Did she come back to life?” I said no, but then I started thinking and I re-answered. “Yes, she did. She died on this earth, but she came back to life in heaven with Jesus. With a new body that we can’t see. She can praise Jesus all day long.”
Isn’t that amazing? I hadn’t really thought of it like that; though, I’m a little ashamed to admit it. Sometimes it takes explaining something to my kids for me to wrap my mind around it.
I have four very clear memories of Suzie.
One: Sitting on her kitchen counter, eating asparagus right out of the can while she cooked dinner.
Two: Her saying to me, “You can make as much mess as you want, as long as you’re willing to clean it up.”
Three: Every morning that I would stay at her house, she would sit with me at the kitchen table and have me read Psalms to her. (I think that must be why I love the Psalms so much even now.)
Four: In the parking lot of Abuelo’s (a restaurant), right after I found out she had cancer; she hugged me and told me she was going to be okay.
I remember the morning my mother told me Suzie died. I hid behind the door in my room, too confused to cry. I thought she had lied to me. “She said she was going to be okay!”
Now I understand what she meant. She came back to life! And it’s not about me, and how okay I was.
It’s about Jesus; now she is spending all her time praising him, forever.
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
And it’s impossible for new life without Christ, without Easter.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:19-20
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, because of his great love for us, we can come back to life.