There are some miracles so regular we can almost forget they are miracles.
The day before Easter is that miracle for me.
Every year for seven years, the Saturday morning following Good Friday erupts in laughter and sunshine, celebration and joy. Against all odds.
It has become an annual harvest of glory, but like any harvest, it never feels entirely reliable. It always feels, some years a little bit and some years a lot, like an impossible dream. Every year, it surprises me. Every year it reminds me that God’s presence in our midst is both an unexpected and entirely reliable gift. Like a miracle we can always count on.
Seven years ago, we moved into this old farmhouse. That first winter, I was visited by loneliness and by a thought: this is a perfect place for an Easter egg hunt. And then one more thought fell like a stone in a quiet pond: we should invite all the neighbors.
All the neighbors meant one hundred and fifteen houses full of people I had never met.
But the thought, once it came, could not be argued away and so began the tradition of a neighborhood egg hunt. A hundred or so people. Two thousand plastic eggs. And the astonishing discovery that glory dwells in our land (Psalm 85:9).
But seven years haven’t erased my worries or my doubts. Seven years of early spring beauty, fast-melting snow, and the surprise of sunshine, haven’t been enough for me to believe, all the way down, that all shall be well.
All shall be well.
Those words, echoing St. Julian’s powerful voice, were the words texted to me by a friend this year on the day before Easter. The text chirped on the phone in my pocket, as I stood, drenched and cold, a bag of filled Easter eggs at my side, while rain battered the roof of our little black barn.
But all shall be well glowed on my phone. It was the smallest possible hope, but I grabbed it, held on, and with the help of my husband and sons, hid two thousand eggs and waited to see what would happen next.
What happened next?
The invitation had said ten a.m. The invitation had said (foolishly, I now thought) rain or shine.
And at 10 a.m. exactly, the clouds gathered themselves and drifted away. The mud began, even then, to dry and a hundred people began to pour through the gate.
“I think this is the best egg hunt, yet,” someone said. And I could only nod. I could only say, “Of course.”
I could only say, “Thank you.”
And isn’t that the promise of Easter? Isn’t that the annual miracle? That no matter how long the winter, no matter how deep our discouragement, everyday miracles, seasonal miracles, even annual miracles are shouting this good news:
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.