It seemed to happen every year around Easter. My mother would become quiet and melancholy.
This period of gloom gradually became known in the family as "Mum's Easter blues." During these times, any inquiries about what was troubling her were met with a perplexed "I don't really know."
When the blues once again descended on my mother a couple of Easters ago, I felt I had to take action. It wasn't right for my sweet mum to be cast down like this. Before discussing the problem with her, I decided I should make sure that my motives here were good. That is, I didn't want to be an interfering daughter. I didn't want to say anything that would cause distress.
So I turned to God for help. I said, "Father, I know that You are always governing and guiding me. There is a right answer to this problem. No one has to feel downhearted at any time. You made each of us in Your joyous, buoyant image. We are 'children of light.' [See Eph. 5:8.] No child of Yours can be dispirited. Help me shine Your light of spiritual understanding on these troubling feelings and dispel them."
I visited my mother when I felt the moment was right, and broached the subject with her. She quickly agreed that it was time to do something about the situation. She was tired of feeling so restless and uneasy each Easter. She decided to pray for herself, and asked me to pray with her also. From personal experience, we both knew that such prayer results in healing and lasting freedom.
Over the next few days, as my mother and I prayed, it became clear to her that the unsettled feelings were linked to grief about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is not uncommon to believe that the death of Jesus is the main thing that Easter signifies. The crucifixion is vitally important. It should never be forgotten. But what came to my mother and me was so obvious - Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus.
Easter is really about life. The cross, however central to Jesus' story, was not the finale. His sacrifice did not end in tragedy and failure. He emerged from his tomb. He met and talked with his disciples. He proved himself to a doubting Thomas, by inviting Thomas to see and touch the nail prints in his hands and the spear wound in his side. This said to Thomas, and to all those present on that occasion, that Jesus was not dead, but rather very much alive.
That really marked a magnificent victory over death and the grave. It was proof that real life is indestructible and eternal. Proof that God is Life and that God's sons and daughters are the eternal "image" and "likeness" of Life (see Gen. 1:26, 27). Nothing can destroy God. So nothing can destroy His reflection. So, in fact, nothing has the power to end our existence. Easter celebrates this.
"The Bible calls death an enemy, and Jesus overcame death and the grave instead of yielding to them," says the textbook of Christian Science ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy, pg. 39). When my mother read this very passage, and accepted this as the message of Easter, she was inspired. She realized that there was no need for sorrow. And immediately all her mournful feelings ceased. She was healed of those recurring Easter blues.
Now during the Easter season, instead of focusing exclusively on the cross and being saddened by it, Mum and I celebrate Jesus' glorious resurrection - and the proof it gives of eternal life. Each year, we accept with renewed gladness the healing and peace that spiritual understanding brings. For us, the gloom has lifted. The cross has been replaced with the "crown of rejoicing."
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Revelation 22:16