The Story of Easter

The Story of Easter

I love Easter, but this year, I was sorely tempted to hole up alone, draw my blinds and pretend that it was any other Sunday. I try to fight these impulses in myself, thought I am not always successful.

This time, however, I worked up my courage, practiced “daring greatly” as Brené Brown would say, and asked a friend for what I actually needed: an adoption for the day.

“Just come,” she said. “Just come and be with us.”

This is how the girl who hadn’t been to church since Advent until last week, found herself getting up early to go and buy a pie to bring and share.

I secured the last chocolate cream pie, which seems to me like an antidote for all sorts of suffering. It was even on sale.

The day was bright and sunny, with only a hint of April chill. I was casual, but wore a favorite floral top, just because.

I drove slowly, conscious of my pie, placing a protective, almost parental, hand over it at stop signs and traffic signals.

I was a block away from the church, in sight of the building, when I was forced to stop quickly to avoid running a late-changing red light. It was a moment before I realized that my pie had plummeted to the base of the passenger seat, breaking free of the bonds of plastic and tin that held it and baptizing my floor mat.

My heart sank.

When I arrived at the church, tears threatening to spill like the pie, I found myself scooping up what I could with the help of a baby wipe, salvaging broken pieces of crust and dollops of chocolate well mixed with whipped cream. I carried my pie inside, leaving my car dotted with chocolate and whipped cream in surprisingly far-reaching places.

It was time for church.

Once inside, I found my friend and her family. She was moving quickly, helping to coordinate the laid-back morning. She looked at my pie, and then at me. “I’m glad you’re here,” she said.

The service was low-key, fairly unstructured and centered around a large shared meal. Though there were many lovely things about the hours I spent there, the most notable part was the loosening of the knots that have been omnipresent in my stomach over the last week or so. The twisting stopped and unfurled like a piece of fine silk, wrinkled, but unharmed.

After church, my friend and I took the pie, still sitting on the kitchen counter where I’d left it, and brought it to her place, placing it delicately in her freezer to give the broken pieces a chance to solidify.

With the help of her sister, I scrubbed my car, cleaning chocolate off of the steering wheel, the floor mats, the gear shift and upholstery. The scent of warm chocolate lingered in the enclosed air.

My friend made good on her promise to adopt me, and we went to dinner with a family, playing with dogs, eating deviled eggs and listening to the sounds of several different generations at once. I soaked it in, stomach still at peace. Even my ever-present headache was gone, at least for the moment, buried in cheesy potatoes and fruit salad with marshmallows.

“Do you want to take your pie?” she asked, as I prepared to head home, still pleasantly full.

“You keep it,” I said. I left the gooey broken pieces I came with and walked out into the night, catching a whiff chocolate every now and then as I went.


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  • Tim

    Cara, that was lovely. I feel like you took the hospitality your friend extended to you and you then continued it along to me. Thanks for inviting us along.

    • Cara Strickland

      I am so glad, Tim. Honestly, I feel that is the goal of hospitality. Like comfort, it is extended to us so that we can, in turn, extend it to others. Thanks for being here, today, friend.

  • Christina

    What a beautiful story. So glad you had friends to spend Easter with. (Also, if it makes you feel any better, I also managed to spill my contribution to our church`s Easter meal all over the trunk of my car. Henceforth, I am vetoing suggestions for Easter soup lunches)

    • Cara Strickland

      Thank you, Christina. I’m so sorry about your soup upset, but I’m glad not to be alone in this messiness.
      Even when adoption is not permanent, it’s still so meaningful. I’m thankful too.

  • Katie

    Friend, I am so glad you dared greatly and asked for what you needed, and glad there was some untangling and peace for you yesterday. Thanks for being real, and for your wisdom.

    • Cara Strickland

      Oh Katie,
      Thank you for these words, friend. I too am glad for a burst of daring greatly, and being honest about needs. I’m praying into the peace, trusting that it will come.
      Thank you for being on the journey with me.

  • Dean Gustafson

    What an awesome story, Cara–sort of like Beauty and the Beast! The beast of your pie turned in to a day of beauty for your soul!

    • Cara Strickland

      Thank you, Dean. It was a day of beauty, even though it was a little sticky. How often that is the case. :)


    You are loved (and I’d gladly gulp down broken pie pieces).

    • Cara Strickland

      Thank you, dear Cara. I am glad to hear it. Hopefully we’ll have that chance at some point soon.

  • Courtney

    It cheers my heart that you found the strength to be brave and not spend Easter alone. Grateful there are friends who can let you be a part of their family, if even for a day. I am sorry for the pie mess–because honestly, I am well acquainted with similar disasters. In fact, in my family, whenever anyone does that kind of thing, it’s called “doing a Courtney.” Yes. Disasters bear my name whether I make them or not (and quite regularly, I do make them, so it’s not altogether unfair). Regardless, sometimes the best days are borne out of the un-best beginnings, a bit of beauty rising from the ashes to remind us ever that there is hope even in our biggest messes. Praying there are many more days ahead when you feel welcomed and wanted. Because you are, Friend.

    • Cara Strickland

      Thank you for this, Courtney. I am hoping for many days ahead of welcome and wanted.

      I wish this for you as well.
      Peace to you today, friend.