For Good Friday I made some fried rice and Kung Pow Chicken and typed a paper about Shelly, ID and their Library. Exciting, Huh!
But Before I go to bed, after a long night of home made Chinese and rural Idaho statistics, I'd like to tell you my favorite Easter story.
It was the night before Easter, and Sister Cramer still hadn't decided how she would get though another primary class. The ten year old boys she taught were all so rowdy, and her lessons about the gospel fell flat each Sunday. Tomorrow was Easter Sunday and nothing she had thought to do seemed right. How could she share her feelings about the Savior and the Atonement in a way that would touch her class and help them see the importance of Easter.
She read though the story of Christ's reserection one more time, then put down her scriptures and knelt to pray. She prayed that somehow she could feel the spirit as she taught, and somehow her class could feel it too. Then, she went to bed, hoping for a miracle, that everything would come together in the morning.
Easter morning came more quickly than Sister Cramer had expected. By the time she had everything together, her family was up and ready to go. The Easter baskets she had put out the night before had obviously been found. They were dis shoveled, each plastic egg opened and emptied of its candy. Seeing the plastic eggs on her way out the door she grabbed 6 of them and pushed them hastily down into her primary bag.
As she listened to the speakers in sacrament meeting talk about Spring, Easter, and the joy of the season, Sister Cramer formed a plan in her mind. She knew what she was going to do. At least it would be fun, she thought as she smiled to herself.
As her boys bumped and snickered into class, she sat quietly in front with the eggs on the table. She counted them as each boy came in, making sure she had enough. When the last boy, came in, she closed the door and announced her plan.
"Today is very special," She said. "And so, I thought, to start off class, we could go outside for a few minutes and enjoy this wonderful Spring day." The talk of going outside got the boys attention. Sister Cramer pick up an egg from the table. "I have an Easter Egg for each of you," she said. "While we are outside, I want each of you to find something that reminds you of Easter, and put it in your egg." The boys chatted excitedly, already thinking about what they could put in their eggs. Sister Cramer smiled. As she handed an Egg to each boy, she thought to herself of the types of things they might bring back and how she could use their creativity to talk about the beauty of God's creations and perhaps the true meaning of Easter.
When they all had an egg, they made their way out. Each boy held back a sprint until they got though the church doors, then they were off. All were running and shouting, all except Sam. Sam was the youngest and the smallest member of Sister Cramer's class. He rarely spoke, and although he smiled sometimes when one of the other boys told a joke, he did everything he could to not be noticed. Today, he was the last to the door, and he stood there, looking as if he was unsure about going out at all.
"What's the matter, Sam?" asked Sister Cramer. "It's such a beautiful day, why don't you run out with the other boys?" Sam looked at his feel. He stepped out of the door and let it close behind him. Then, he shuffled a pebble on the side walk with his toe.
"I don't know," he finally said. Sister Cramer waited and listened. She knew that Sam didn't say much, and she didn't want to rush him. "I don't know what to put in my egg." He paused again and looked at a tree, and then the grass. "Sister Cramer?"
"What reminds you of Easter?"
Sister Cramer was a little bit startled. None of the boys had asked her a question like that. She thought for a moment, then said, "Well, when I think about Easter, I think about the beautiful garden around Jesus' tomb. I think of the beautiful flowers of spring and about all of Jesus' friends coming to visit his tomb and seeing the stone rolled away." She paused for a moment to make sure she hadn't gotten carried away in her own thoughts. She looked down at Sam, who looked thoughtful, and much older and more care worn than the other boys who were playing and laughing, some throwing grass and twigs at each other as they ran across the lawn.
"I," Sam started. Sister Cramer brought her attention back to her littlest boy. She saw a little smile creep across his lips. "I think I know what to do, now." His smile broadened as he ran to were some of the other boys were talking. Sister Cramer smiled, excited to see what the boys had chosen. She called out, and they all gathered around and made their way back into class. Sam trailing in right at the end.
Back in the room, Sister Cramer asked the boys one by one to open their eggs and share with everyone why they chose their item. There was a blade of grass, a bird's feather, a new Spring leaf, each chosen for it's beautiful Spring significance. One boy chose a nice round rock because it looked like an egg, and another a twig with a bloom on the end. Sister Cramer talked about each one and how beautiful they were. She tried to think of a way to tie them into the Reserection, but nothing came. Now, all of the boys had opened their eggs and shared except Sam, who sat quietly by the wall, smiling to himself.
"Sam, we are all very excited to see what you have in your egg," Sister Cramer said.
"Yah, Sam. Wha'd ya get," said one of the boys.
Sam looked down at his egg and smiled. Then he looked up at Sister Cramer. He looked at the boys sheepishly, then cracked open his plastic egg.
"There's nothing in there," another boy cried out. All of the boys started to snicker.
Sister Cramer put up her hand. "Boys, please. Sam, tell us about your egg. Why is it empty?"
Sam looked down at his feet and smiled. Then he looked up as Sister Cramer again and said, almost in a whisper, "Because when Jesus' friends came to visit his tomb, it was empty."
All of the boys turned from Sam to Sister Cramer. She was crying. She smiled, and one big tear rolled down her cheek. Little Sam had answered her prayer for the perfect Easter lesson. "That's right, Sam. That's right," she sniffed. "We have Easter because the tomb was empty."