“I’m going to need some more,” my granddaughter, Violet said, as she barely chewed through the first chocolate covered peanut butter egg. One little taste and she could barely contain her enjoyment. She couldn’t wait to have more inside of her! Her eyes lit up; her tongue rolled over her lips as she blurted out her desire.
I hadn’t planned to make the traditional homemade Easter candy this year. Everything about celebrating Easter this year seemed in upheaval, in chaos. One less task to do amid this Covid virus crisis gave me a welcome sigh of relief.
And then my one son casually texted, “we’ve been dreaming of your Easter candy!” Dreaming? I suppose we all have our moments these days in which we conjure up ideas of how to escape the anxiety, fear, pent-up frustrations and general lack of control over this viral disease. A holiday amidst a pandemic brings an overwhelming desire to still have something around us that seems normal, calming, traditional. We cannot gather to worship together or for an extended family meal but surely, mom, surely you will make the Easter candy?
I’m not sure what it says about me that my pantry just happened to have all the necessary ingredients. Actually, I do know. I am a make-it-from-scratch cook who likes to have items that will fall easily into recipes. Coconut, chocolate chips, icing sugar, peanut butter—when I use up the last of these, I quickly restock so they can be ready for use the next time.
The one outstanding item, crème cheese, had yet to be found. I scoured my fridge hunting in the far corners. No not there, but happily I discovered and found some in the freezer, probably bought when it was on sale. I now had everything I needed. So, I made chocolate covered peanut butter and coconut crème eggs.
During this time, we often Facetime or send selfie videos to the grandkids, but since we had to deliver the candy, we decided that we could attempt a porch visit with little Finn and Violet. Fortunately, I managed to scrounge up an old truck book and some construction toy vehicles from my sons’ old things. I had a craft kit in my Nana’s stash for Violet. We drove over to their house on a sunny afternoon. Little Finn tried over and over to back up into our laps so we could read the truck book with him. But he had to settle for a somewhat distanced page-through that soon failed to entertain him.
To keep them occupied while the adults visited, the kiddies drew coloured chalk pictures on the sidewalk. We had to cut the time short, so we didn’t unknowingly pass any viral germs between us. Air hugs and kisses sufficed for the time being, but we all achingly knew we wanted more. A taste of a Nana and Pop-Pop visit didn’t seem to be enough. We all wanted more.
I find that is at the heart of this pandemic. We all want more. We want more hope, more patience, more comfort, more normalcy. More scientific facts, more reassurance, more ability to do the right thing for each other. More control.
“I’m going to need some more,” our hearts boldly cry out.
My niece a doctor on the front lines in the emergency room with Covid patients in a crowded Pennsylvania hospital---she needs more protective gear so at the end of her shift she can go home to her 3-year old daughter and 2-year old foster child.
My 89-year old mother needs more purpose and more confidence that she can still protect her loved ones, as she sews medical masks for every member of her family and all her elderly friends.
My sister needs more time as she heads back to New Jersey as a nurse in a Veteran’s Home, following a visit to help her other daughter who just gave birth to her second son.
My son a teacher, requires more patience with his students and their parents as he navigates the virtual classroom from his home.
His wife desperately needs a Nana visit so that she can be refreshed in her role as a new mother.
My other son and wife need more assurance that their children will remain healthy while continuing in care at a small day home, so they can maintain work-at-home schedules to continue to pay the mortgage.
My dear friends in places where the Covid outbreak has been overwhelming and frightening need more faith and confidence in the loving heart of God.
I need more capacity to be calm as I struggle with a new diagnosis that means I am immune compromised and more vulnerable to this deadly virus.
The world needs more help, for the unemployed, the ones already sick, the ones who have died. For the essential workers on the frontlines…
We all need more; we need to hold on tighter and more firmly to the promises that God remains steadfast and true despite this horrific pandemic. In our moments of ultimate meltdowns, we all need more, we need to be rescued.
On Good Friday my husband and I called my mother in Pennsylvania. We invited her to “attend our church service” at Westlife Church in Calgary via her laptop. She uses it as a way of staying in touch with our family in Canada having Facetime calls receiving texted photographs of her great grandchildren. But going to church on-line presented a new challenge for her. Thankfully we managed to patiently guide her through the steps to participate with us using her laptop. After the service, we looked toward Easter, we felt that we had received more of Christ when we needed Him most.
One of the scriptures from Good Friday echoes over and over to me. Jesus wept. Jesus wept and grieved not for himself, but for us. He needs us.
Christ needs more. He needs more of us. More of our hearts responding to him. He still seeks us; He still sits with us and watches as we try to fill our hearts with what we believe we need. He hears us as we cry, “I think I’m going to need some more.”
We don’t realize he already knows what we need. He knows our “more.” He knows what to offer. His pantry remains fully stocked and ready to respond to any request. He doesn’t need a list to remind himself that he needs to provide more sustenance, more comfort. He knows how to respond.
I’ve been praying through the Psalms crying out in need. Praying for continual protection for every family member, every friend, every essential worker who sacrifices safety and sanity on behalf of another’s needs.
I grieve in advance, as Mary grieved. She knew Jesus lived on the edge of provocation every day. He either provoked anger amongst the Jewish leaders or provided hope for His worshipping followers. She knew what it meant to submit to God’s will, and she grieved for her son who had to sacrifice everything to fulfill it. She knew and although she marvelled at His healing works, His miracles which led people to trust and believe in Him, she also grieved for the heartache that surely would come. Waking up daily and not knowing if her son would be arrested or celebrated. Following His arrest, she woke up, picturing Him being tortured and mocked. She didn’t know what would happen next, so she grieved even as she prayed with hopeful yearning to the God who had provided and cared for her. She needed more.
She wanted more. She wanted a miracle, but she didn’t know what to expect. She stayed with Jesus and grieved. She stayed with him and asked for more from her God. Let’s not miss the fact that Jesus stayed too, as long as he could; praying, weeping, and asking more from God for us.
During our Good Friday service, we shared Communion by partaking at home with bread and juice. As we heard the words from scripture spoken by Jesus at the supper He shared with his disciples, we heard what we each needed. We heard His promise that He would provide more.
More comfort. More healing. More hope.
To receive it, we need to give Christ more.
More trust, more faith, more love.
My one niece brought her 2-year-old over to my mother’s back yard on Easter so he could have an egg hunt. She carried her one-month old baby over to the picture window so my mother could wave and make silly faces at him. Mother watched as older brother Connor scampered about discovering eggs here and there. Earlier, we and mother had attended church together once again on-line and over the phone. Praising together, praying together, holding onto the promises together despite distance or the lurking virus.
I told mother about little Violet tasting the Easter candy and how she knew immediately that she wanted more. We laughed and then cried together. Seems like it’s a back and forth emotional whirlwind every day.
To end our Easter phone call on a positive note, I described for her a picture that I bring to mind daily, every time I need more.
“I am on my knees in prayer and in a weeping mess. I am distraught and overwhelmed by all the needs of everyone throughout this pandemic. And then I am lifted up, embraced and held in strong arms. I breathe deeply, I am quieted by a gentleness and peacefulness that flows over and around me. I begin to have a resurgence of clarity, a sense that I am held lovingly and tenderly. And in those arms, in that amazing embrace I know Jesus gives me the some more I need.”
Easter has come. Jesus is here. He embraces us. Jesus gives us more of what we need even though we often don’t know what to ask for until the time arrives. He knows. He offers. He is here.
Go to His embrace. Trust. Feel His strength. Hope. Breathe deeply His peace. Be Forever Loved.
Do we need more? Amen and amen. Over and over again. Thank goodness He is stocked and ready. Thank goodness He provides.
Praise the Lord, my soul, all my inmost being praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all his benefits---who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5 NIV
What do you need more of during this time?
What did you need more of before this pandemic?
How has your concept of more changed?