Monday, March 24, 2008

My Easter Story

This morning I just ran out of time between quickly reading the paper, and feeding the animals, and doing a little treadmill workout, so I couldn't do any typing before the baby got here. You know how it is; those babies are so demanding!

Okay, enough with the excuses.

Back in the mid 60's when I was a little girl my dad was stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. We lived in Lawton. Every Easter in the rolling hills some way out of town there was a Passion Play. It's held in a mock town made up to look like homes and buildings of the biblical times. Spectators sat on blankets or lawn chairs and watched as the events unfolded before them.

I remember going to the park and wandering through the "old" buildings on the rare occasions when we would just visit the park during the rest of the year. If I remember correctly there was a place called Eagle Park nearby that was kind of like an amusement park with a skating rink, bumper cars, etc, but most importantly a horse rental stable. I may be wrong about the proximity of Eagle Park to the Holy City town, so don't quote me on that. My sister and I loved going to the park and we would beg and plead with our parents to let us rent a horse for an hour. Then we would pretend the horses were our own and off we went. Back then you didn't have to go in a group with a guide, plodding along, one after the other, choking on the dust of the horse in front.

I'm getting off subject, so back to the Passion Play. The characters were volunteers from various churches. The citizens wore realistic robes and the Roman soldiers had helmets and swords and shields.

One year instead of observing we participated. Remember, I was only about 5 or 6 at that time. We were issued our robes and as darkness fell last minute preparations were made. Actors were scurrying back and forth to get into position. That's when I saw something that scared me half to death.

It was a man. He was dressed in the typical robes with a rope belt at his waist. He was tall and thin. Though he never looked at me or came near me I was frightened beyond reason. My mom came rushing over and tried to soothe me.

"What's wrong? What's the matter?" she asked.

"That man!" I pointed towards the unknowing subject about 30 feet away.

"What man?" Mom pressed.

"That man!" I forced my face into my moms' body. By this time I was sobbing hysterically.

"What about him?"

I barely managed to contain my heaving sobs at this point but I was able to blurt out the reason the man had frightened me so. "He has long hair... and... a beard!"

You see, I'd never seen any man with long hair before. And I don't believe I'd ever seen a real live man with a beard before either.

I think my mom was trying to stifle her laughter after that. "Honey, that's the man playing the part of Jesus!"


The explanation did make me feel a bit better but to this day I'm not thrilled about bearded men. Except for the real Jesus, of course!


Pam said...

This is a good story.

And yes, hairy men are scary.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful gift - you gave me a memory, Thank You. I remember the Holy City well. We found a mouse skeleton in one of the drawers of a desk in the building in which the Easter Sunrise actors and actresses changed costumes. I was awed by the tiny creature; felt sorry that he died in the drawer, and believed the tiny mouse had an afterlife, too.
As for the bearded, scary man - Oh, when we see the REAL Jesus, Tina, we will feel no fear whatsoever (unless we have done Him wrong). What LOVE will embrace us. Still, your story reminds me that we have to be on the alert against "false" Jesuses. May we recognize them when they appear. Love, M