(updated and reposted on Escape from Averageness® every year, on Easter morning)
The intrepid, results-based consultant reclined into the natural seat, at the back edge of one of the dry-eddy pools, where the beach resumed its slope more steeply upward, toward the dunes.
Easter 2017 Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
She dug her bare feet into still-wet sand, and felt the remnant of the past night’s high tide through her jeans and shirt. It always felt good, she thought, as she rested her arms on her knees, gazed eastward, and studied the movement of sea and sky.
She smiled, as the morning sun, now just above the horizon, reflected on the water, on what was a warm and breezy mid-April morning in northeast Florida.
She was comfortable in her element. A seventh-generation Floridian, she loved the waters and land of her native state. She wished she could have seen for herself the remnant of the Cracker Florida her dad liked to tell her about – the mid-twentieth century Florida of his youth, as he would describe it: Florida before air conditioning, interstate highways, and theme parks.
This was her routine, every year, on Easter morning.
She reached over and removed her 35mm SLR camera from its backpack, switched to manual mode, adjusted her aperture and exposure settings, and peered through the viewfinder. Satisfied with her composition and settings, she released the shutter.
“ . . . photographs and still-frames of your mind”, she thought, as she reviewed her work.
Her thoughts turned to the pre-dawn darkness of the first Easter morning, to what the disillusioned friends and followers of the one they called Jesus of Nazareth must have been thinking.
By every rational explanation and every shred of evidence, this man of so much promise, in whom they had placed so much hope, was dead.
They had been eyewitnesses to that unquestionable death, and the effects of the torture that preceded it; they had been witnesses to his burial, as well, and the particularly intense security of his tomb. She recalled that the term excruciating came from the Latin ex crucis, literally, “out of the cross”.
Roman crucifixions left nothing to the imagination.
For His friends and followers, this was certainly more than the physical death of one man; for them, it was the death of all faith and hope.
And, then her thoughts moved to a time, not far removed from the darkness of the days following the death of Jesus, as Peter and others asserted – for all to hear – that they were eyewitnesses to the effect of His resurrection and ascension.
Far from abandoning their faith and succumbing to hopelessness, they said they were willing to live their lives – to give their lives – for the lives of others, and for the faith and the hope that His crucifixion, death and resurrection gave all of them.
So it has been, that decision, she thought, for every Christian, ever since. So it was for her.
She smiled again, and whispered.