Our Easter Rabbit made his first appearance on Easter Sunday in 2015. He showed up early Easter morning in our back yard as we waited for our four grandchildren to arrive for their annual Easter egg hunt. Now this was not one of those fancy chocolate Easter bunnies, all shrink wrapped in gold foil, whose presence you see in all the stores readied for sale before Easter Sunday. No, this bunny was very much alive. My wife and I were both happily shocked to see him. There he was, nestled in the green spring grass, like he was waiting for the annual hunt to start.
How did the bunny know it was his day? This day all Christians celebrate Resurrection day. We know that rabbits and eggs have traditionally been part and parcel of the Easter feast. It appeared that not only had we all the eggs, children egg hunters readied to the hilt with their baskets, but we had our special guest, our very own Easter rabbit. It was quite a day for all of us. The rabbit was unaware of his special status I am sure.
Now fast forward one year later to the year 2016, our bunny showed up one day before Easter. We had been talking about him earlier in the week and wondering if he would come again. Yes, here he was again. Wow! This time he showed up a day before Easter…could he be following a different calendar? It was like seeing an old friend come home again. Maybe he just wanted to make sure he was at the right place, and on time.
Now it is Easter morning, 2017 when we went to our back yard performing our annual ritual of placing eggs all around, and confidently expecting our Easter rabbit to be joining us this Easter as well. Sorry to say, he was a no show. No Easter Rabbit this year. And so we were very saddened. What made us think he would be here this Easter as well? Expectations are many times based on all that has happened before. If he made it on Easter two times before it seemed like he could surely make again this Easter. The odds were in our favor. Maybe he forgot, we thought, as he was usually here either on Easter day itself or at least before. Oh well. maybe next year we thought. We’ll have to wait for Easter 2018. We had high expectations.
Then yesterday, just a day after Easter, who shows up in our yard? Yep, you guessed it. A spontaneous joyful shout went up from our daughter and her friend–when we heard her scream “Our Easter bunny is here! Our Easter bunny is here!” And like magic there he was hopping, back and forth, with a spring in his hop, through our yard, from one end to the other. In a way it was like he was saying, “did you miss me?”
Not only did we miss him, we expected him to be here on Easter. So what if he was a day late–he showed up. We know that he will always be our special Easter rabbit. For our family, he continues to be our special gift on Easter Sunday, the day before, the day after, or whenever.
Hope for us is that he will be back next year. We just know, believe and expect that he’ll be here.
Life is much like our bunny. Sometimes when we hope for things to turn out the way we wish, it works out that way. And then sometimes , when we feel shaky inside, when we begin to feel a little doubt creep into our soul, that is when our expectations for something good to happen shut down. Somehow, our lives have received a precious gift, the gift of expecting a miracle, such as our Easter rabbit’s continued annual appearance at Easter…on, before or after. We knew at some level that he would return –we just knew he would come back. We looked for him and here he was. Believe. Expect, don’t give up. Hope. We never want to let doubt cloud our hopes and expectations from coming true. Each new day can brings us closer to what we hope for. Live in hope. Just believe that your dreams will come true.