“Nine-year-old Thomas Hayes sat squirming in Sunday school on Easter morning, as his teacher, Mrs. Davis, opened her Bible and read….
“…..An angel appeared to them and said, ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen…’”*
She paused and looked up, noting the puzzled look on Tommy’s freckled face. “Yes, Tommy?”
“But how could it be?” Tommy asked, wiggling his nose. “No one arises from the dead. And I’m not so sure about angels, either.”
“It’s a mystery, dear,” Mrs. Davis said, closing her Bible. “Some things don’t need explaining. They’re mysteries.”
She glanced at her watch. “It’s time for church now, children.”
Tommy scratched his bushy red hair, shaking his head. “I still don’t get it.”
Mrs. Davis just smiled, squeezing his hand. The gleam in her eyes reminded him of his dad when he spoke of the things of God.
Sunday school was over and Tommy joined his family for church. As he opened his hymnbook, singing, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”, he stared at the wooden cross, adorned with Easter lilies, still wondering, How could it be?
Although he was a “PK” (preacher’s kid), Tommy wasn’t like the rest of his family. His parents and five younger siblings believed everything the Bible said, without questioning. But to Tommy, everything demanded proof. Mom called him her “little doubting Thomas.” When he grew up, he was going to be a scientist, not a preacher like his father.
Because it was Easter, the service was long When will Dad ever wind up his sermon?he wondered. Can’t wait to tear into my Easter basket….. His mouth watered as he thought about his chocolate bunny.
Restless, he asked his mom to be excused for a restroom break. He tiptoed out the door, bypassing the restroom in the Sunday school building. He gazed at the distant hills, adorned with spring flowers.
Just a five-minute walk down the road. Mom won’t miss me. After all, she has five other kids.
He hiked down the road, picking wild daisies. “Why are these daisies yellow, while others are white?” he wondered, thinking maybe he’d become a botanist when he grew up. He was always asking “why” and “how”.
He gazed at the sky, noting a flock of geese flying away.
Then, out of nowhere, an old rusty pickup truck pulled up beside him. A strange man cranked down a window.
The man smiled at him. “Hey kid, I have some candy eggs for you. Chocolate bunnies, too,” he said, holding up a chocolate bunny at least two feet tall.
Tommy knew not to talk to strangers. “No thanks,” he said, his voice quivering. Wish I’d stayed in my seat.
“Com’ on, kid. I can take you on an Easter egg hunt where you can find more chocolate eggs.”
Tommy shook his head and ran. The man bolted out of his truck and started after him. Then, out of nowhere, another man, taller and stronger than any he’d ever seen, shot out of a bush and stood in front of the bad man. The brave man stared straight into the bad man’s evil eyes and said with authority, “Hit the road, buster---Leave the boy alone!”
“Okay, okay,” the bad man, said, jumping back in his pickup. As Tommy ran, he heard the truck rumble away.
Still trembling, he stopped and turned around to thank the man who rescued him. But he was gone.
“Where did you go?” Tommy cried. “I wanna thank you. Where are you?” The fearless, brawny man vanished as quickly as he appeared.
Sprinting back to church, as fast his skinny legs could carry him, he slid back into his pew, next to his sister, Molly, his body still shaking, his heart pounding.
““May the good Lord bless you and keep you…,”Pastor Hayes said, giving the benediction.
Where were you?” Molly asked.
“Tell ya later,” Tommy whispered, out of breath.
Mom cast a look of worried relief at him, asking, “Did you fall in the toilet, son? Where were you!?”
The congregation broke out in a final Easter hymn, singing, “Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high ...”
With grateful tears standing in his hazel green eyes, Tommy gazed up at the lily covered cross. It was still a mystery. He still didn’t understand.
But he now believed.
And, he believed in angels, too.
*Luke 24:5 & 6 (KJV)
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