Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)
TITLE: In Search of Empty Eggs
By Joanne Malley
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“Hey, that one’s mine…I saw it first!”
“Yeah, well I got it first,” said my eight-year old brother Ryan after he stuck his sloppy tongue at me. He’s two years younger than me and quite immature.”
A gob of chocolate oozed from the side of his mouth. He christened the sleeve of his freshly pressed shirt with Hershey’s milk chocolate.
Brothers are so gross!
We continued our hunt in search of as many eggs as possible. Ryan and I battled to find the most, especially the large ones with “special” goodies inside.
Every year Mom filled some of the eggs with five-dollar bills, movie tickets or small toys such as super balls. Our little sister, Katie, seemed happy enough with the four eggs she found. Her little fingers worked hard to open all her treats, as she remained unaware of the two ground-in grass stains on her white stockings.
I knew Mom would have a hissy fit the minute she saw Katie and Ryan. Oh, well,I thought. At least I stayed clean.
Dad popped his head out the back door.
“C’mon kids, finish your hunt. We’ve got to leave for Aunt Connie’s in twenty minutes.”
“Oh, but Dad—we’re still trying to find more of the large eggs that Mom fills with special treats,” replied Ryan.
“Ok—but I’ll be back out to get you kids soon.”
Ryan and I continued to scour behind every bush and possible hiding place. We both found several large eggs for ourselves. Our faces erupted with smiles over the value of what was inside.
Thank goodness our search ended before our time was up. We set our baskets on the lawn to uncover the newfound wealth inside the plastic eggs. Also, both of our mouths began to water at the thought of all the chocolate we’d eat all week.
However, as we opened our eggs, a number of them were empty.
“I got ripped!” yelled, Ryan. “Some of these are empty!”
“Me too,” I said. What’s up with that?”
I saw Dad stand on the deck.
“C’mon, kids, you’ve had enough time now, we’ve got to get going.”
I scooped up Katie. She finger-painted a chocolate collage all over her new dress. Mom would definitely not be happy.
“Dad, some of these Easter eggs are empty—how come?” asked Ryan.
“I’m glad you brought that up. It was actually my idea,” said Dad.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, Dad, but maybe next year you can come up with a better one!” I said.
“Well, now…it really is a very good idea if you let me share why.”
“What you don’t see in those eggs actually holds the most value. We’re often in search of what’s tangible and what appears to be worth having, as you’ve both done today. Our search for material wealth clouds our vision to what’s most valuable in our lives. We often find an irreplaceable treasure in what’s not seen, like in the empty eggs. Most often, we are blind to intangible treasures when our spiritual eyes miss what our physical eyes don’t see.
Ryan looked quizzically at Dad.
“What? I don’t get it,” said Ryan.
“Those empty eggs were meant to represent God’s unconditional love for you. Today is a reminder of how He showed that love long ago. It is the best gift any of us could ever receive,” explained Dad. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NLT.
“Oh, I get it,” I said. “Sort of like having yours and Mom’s love is better than any toy or gift you can ever give us?”
“Consider this a new tradition every year as a reminder of God’s love,” said Dad.
I guess Dad thinks he’s a pretty smart guy. Maybe he wants us to search for as many “empty eggs” in life as we can.
I was quiet the whole way to Aunt Connie’s. I “got it” but I don’t think Ryan did. I caught Dad looking in the rear-view mirror with a big smile on his face.
He winked at me and spoke.
“You know, Maggie, there was more than God’s love in those empty eggs. There was something else I wanted you to find—a pair of eyes with a new vision and clarity.”
“Never mind,” he said. “You’ve had enough of a lesson for one day.”
* * * * * * * *
I’m getting too old now for Easter egg hunts, I thought.
Next year, I’m just asking Mom for the five bucks and the movie tickets!
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