For years my uncle, Eugene Brock (namesake for our 4th child) rounded up writers to share op-ed for our home-town newspaper (Wichita Falls Times & Record News) during Holy Week. Very sadly, my uncle Brock went home to the Lord earlier this year, so my cousin Alan Brock took over the helm. What an honor and privilege to have been included in both their line-ups. Here’s what was on my mind this year. I hope you have a very blessed Easter. Thank you for blessing my life as we walk the road together. :)
In a land far, far away in a time long, long ago, a Prince and Princess lived in peace and in the absolute completeness of love and joy. Every day brought with it wonder and happiness that surpassed the fullness of the day before. The good King lavished the young royals with all he had. But mostly he loved them, unconditionally.
Then one day, Dark Knight slipped in alongside the Prince and Princess as they walked through the Royal Gardens. He despised the good King. Filled with hate and jealousy, Dark Knight set out to crush the good King by destroying the unsuspecting pair whom the King adored.
Dressed in his most dazzling attire, Dark Knight lured the Prince and Princess to a most beautiful feast. “Have you never tasted the lovely Tieto?” he asked. “It is the most desired among all food in this vast kingdom for it has the power to open your mind and your eyes to know and to see all.”
The delicacy looked and smelled so delicious. They had heard about it, had been warned of its deadly nature, but were entranced by its beauty. The sound of Dark Knight’s voice woke within them hunger and feelings they had never experienced. For the first time in their lives flickers of craving and doubt and anger and resentment began to burn within them as Dark Knight flooded their thoughts with lies about the good King. “He withholds and controls. He wants to keep the best things set aside for himself. He does not love you.”
They gave into desire and indulged.
Suddenly the ground opened and swallowed them whole. Air, once filled with oxygen’s essence, now suffocated. Momentary relief came only when the pair caught glimpses of the good King looking down with love now clouded by pain.
Dark Knight laughed and mocked the good King. “They’re mine now,” he cackled. “I will never give them rest. They will endlessly search for meaning. They will never have enough. They will forever battle insecurity. They will hide in shame and never experience satisfaction. They will always be ALONE, even when together.”
The Princess’s beauty and Prince’s handsome good looks were replaced by the crustiness of a soul sold out to worldly ways. Their outward appearance became that of hideous creatures, the worst of their inside-selves – Beasts.
Would they be doomed to the curse forever?
Ahhh – but THE tale as old as time can’t end there.
The light of a Savior flickers in the background. For Dark Knight knows that all can be restored and redeemed if Love enters the story. But the Prince and Princess, assuming love’s nature to be like their own, can’t imagine Love’s power being willing to see beyond their now gruesome exterior.
But the thing about Love, it sees beyond.
The good King, called upon the One who IS love. “Will you go?” the King asked his beloved Son. “Yes, Father, “they’re salvation is worth everything to us.”
So on his white horse, the Son, whose name is Faithful and True, set out to meet Dark Knight in battle. The war raged, the battle ensued, the sword extended, blood spilled.
The Son’s blood.
Wailing could be heard from furthest reaches of the kingdom and galaxies as if Creation itself felt the blow. Dark Knight had killed the One whose name is Love – at least as far as anyone knew. For the Dark Knight had assumed death was final.
He never understood the power of Love.
As the Prince and Princess held the Son’s lifeless body in their arms, eternally moved by the gift of the good King who sent their deliverer, tears rolled down their cheeks and into his wounds.
Suddenly out of the darkness, Light – like a bright Morning Star – broke through the Son’s pierced side where Dark Knight’s sword had struck its deadly blow. And in that moment Love overwhelmed. Love defeated death. Love engulfed the pair, from the inside out – in that moment, and forever more.
Love overcame. Peace restored. Happily ever after.
But unlike our beloved fairy tales, this story is true.
We call it Easter.