Last year during Holy Week we had a visitor. Our good friend Maria, was with us. We went through our usual rituals of Holy Week. Lighting the Christ candle Monday through Friday on our family altar,(read: coffee table with purple cloth, bowl of silly putty, and cross), reading each day’s happening in the Jesus Storybook Bible, and shaping what we heard the Holy Spirit saying to us in the putty.

Maria is developmentally delayed and while she listens, and sculpts, I really am not sure what she understands. Good Friday came. We read the painful account of the death of Jesus, and we blew the Christ candle out.  Being a good Southern Baptist, current Nazarene, with time spent teaching in a Charismatic Christian School, I pulled out my rosary and left it on the table.

All day long on Saturday Maria, would return to our altar. She would finger the rosary, stare at the candle, and sculpt in the putty. But said little.

George MacDonald says, “A parent must respect the spiritual person of his child and approach it with reverence, for that too looks the Father in the face and has an audience with Him into which no earthly parent can enter even he dared to desire it.”

Something was growing, I have no doubt, but it wasn’t about me, and I wasn’t invited in.

As is our tradition, I get up before dawn, and change the altar. The cloth to white, light the Christ candle, add a finger labyrinth and a joy jar. Arrange, Yes, Easter baskets and prepare to wake the children.

I crept into the girls’ room, where Maria was sleeping on the top bunk. “Maria,” I said, “Wake up, Jesus has come back to life!” She sleepily rolled over, rubbed her eyes and then suddenly (I suppose) my words sunk into her brain, she bolted up, nearly pushed me off, to race down the ladder and into the living room. She made a bee line to the Christ candle and danced a jig all around the altar as she saw it lit.

We all danced and sang. We bundled up and sat outside welcoming the son into our lives. Oh that beautiful light for the whole word to see!

Starting Soon: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? Choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

Learn more >