There are no crosses here.
That's the first thing I notice: No crosses. No broken crayons, wisps of Easter grass or cracked plastic eggs scattered among the bits of glass and pooled antifreeze. The marks on the road are gone now, too. After seven years and thousands of passing cars, I wouldn't expect physical marks to still be here. Just a random place on the side of a state highway.
I pass by here nearly every day, but I don't think about what happened here much anymore. I'm not sure of the reason I'm standing here in the early morning dew. I'm not here to pray, or cry, or anything like that. Maybe it's because it's Easter. Maybe its that "Amazing Grace" happened to be playing on the radio as I passed by that caused me to pull over. Maybe it's just time to visit these particular ghosts again. I dunno. But whatever the reason, Here I stand.
Every so often I just feel the need to be here, this non-descript place where I almost lost my hope and my faith in God.
Performing CPR on a 1-year-old in her pink Easter dress and Elmo diaper will do that to you. Feeling her faint pulse return, only to have the plug pulled on her a day later will make you question why you bother trying. Seeing a little girl you failed to save laying on her mother's chest in a shared casket can shake you to your foundation.
Where was God? Why do I bother? What am I doing, anyways?
I'm not one of those people who believes that every little coincidence in life is some divine intervention. Let's say you're thinking deep thoughts in a meadow at sunset when a butterfly wanders by. God? Nah...if you spend all day in a field, odds are pretty good you might encounter an insect. If that's all you got, perhaps you're spending a bit too much effort looking for "a sign."
But hey, it's Easter morning. The most hopeful day of the year. If the promise of Easter is true, then that means there is life after death. It does matter what we do, it's just that the outcome is ultimately the same. We all die, but the promise of Easter is that there is life on the other side of death. If some guy named Jesus can do it, so can I. So can you, your grandma, her brother, your uncle and that guy over there. So can everyone you hold dear.
So can a little girl who didn't deserve to die in her Easter dress on the way to grandma's house to hunt eggs.
I Corinthians tells us that hope is one of three very good things that God gave us. Shoot, it's not even the greatest among them. Cool. And the kicker? All you have to do to give people hope is to simply have hope yourself.
Hope. Get it. Give it.
Happy Easter to you and yours.