Mending Easter


(Based on a true incident)
And be ye kind one to another, … forgiving one another, even as God … hath forgiven you (Eph. 4:32).

Davey’s kindergarten class was going to have an Easter egg hunt, and he could hardly wait. He had talked to his two little brothers about the exciting event and had solemnly promised them that he would not eat any of the Easter eggs he found but would bring them home to share.

That morning, Davey stood by his mother, waiting for the school bus. It was hard to stay still enough to carefully hold the two boiled eggs he was taking to color that day. There would be lots of fun on this last day of school before the Easter holiday.

Finally the large yellow bus rounded the corner and stopped to pick him up. He waved and smiled at his brothers, who were watching out the window of their home across the street.

His little brothers’ faces were in the window again when the large yellow bus delivered him home at the end of the school day. Davey was usually the first child off the bus at this stop. But not today. When he finally climbed off, Mom knew that something was wrong. She hurried out to meet him on the front walk. She knelt and looked into his drooping eyes. He fell into Mom’s arms and sobbed.

“I’m so sorry … let my little brothers down,” he choked out. “I didn’t mean to … saved everything … didn’t eat even one.”

Mom held him close for a long time and then, when his body stopped trembling, led him inside. She and Davey and his little brothers all huddled together for a big family hug.

“Let’s start again, Davey,” Mom said reassuringly. “Tell us about what happened from the beginning.”

Davey arrived at school with his precious boiled eggs unbroken. When the time came, he colored them sky blue to match his eyes. When they were dry, he placed his eggs in his basket. After his teacher read an Easter story, everyone in his class ran outside for recess. When they came back in, the teacher told them that candy eggs were hidden in their classroom. All the children scrambled to look for the candy eggs. Davey was a good finder, and he helped other children find some. He found a yellow marshmallow bunny too. After the egg hunt, many of the children ate a lot of their candy eggs during the party, but Davey saved every one, just as he had promised his little brothers.

His class was late boarding the school buses after school, and his usual seat behind the driver was already taken. Davey walked down the long aisle until he found a seat near the back. He sat down, carefully cradling his basket of treasures on his lap.

When the bus pulled out, some big boys behind him began to tease him. He could hear them whispering about him. Then they tweaked his hair, ears, and neck. He used one hand to protect his candy; with the other, he tried to bat their hands away. With all the noise and confusion on the bus, the driver didn’t hear Davey’s small protests as the teasing increased.

Then his candy eggs began to disappear as he turned his head this way and that, trying to get away from all the hands that were pinching and tickling him. The worst teaser was the boy who lived across the street. Davey had thought that he was a friend, but today he had become an enemy.

By the time the bus came to Davey’s stop, his marshmallow bunny and all the candy eggs were gone, and both of his sky-blue eggs, so carefully carried and colored, were cracked and smashed.

Mom, Davey, and his brothers all looked at Davey’s little Easter basket. It was a sorry sight.

“Well, Davey,” Mom asked, “what shall we do to let these boys know that you forgive them?”

Davey’s mouth dropped open, and his eyes got wide. “Forgive them?”

“What is Easter about, Davey?” Mom gently asked. “Is it about colored eggs and candy, or is it about forgiving others for the pain they cause?”

Davey was surprised. He had thought that Mom would march right across the street and tell the big boy’s mother exactly how mean her son had been. “Why should I be the one to forgive them first when I didn’t do anything wrong?” Davey asked.

“The Savior didn’t do anything wrong, either. But He forgave those who killed Him. He taught us to forgive everyone because that is what will bring us the greatest peace,” Mom said. “How do you feel inside right now?”

Davey’s face was still very red and tear-streaked. Couldn’t Mom guess how he felt? “I feel mad and sad and …”

“And do you like feeling that way?”

“No.”

“Jesus taught us that when people do bad things to us, the only way we can really feel better is to forgive them, even do something good for them.”

“But stealing is wrong,” Davey protested. “You and Dad have always taught us that when we take something that isn’t ours, we should give it back and say we’re sorry. That’s what those boys should do!”

“Davey, we can’t choose what they will do. We can only choose what we will do. We can do what Jesus did, or we can choose not to.”

“But Jesus never rode the bus and got His eggs stolen. The scriptures don’t say anything about that.”

“The scriptures say to forgive others as you would want to be forgiven,” Mom pointed out patiently. “The lessons that the scriptures teach are true, Davey, not just stories. They really work. Shall we try them out?”

After Davey thought about it, he decided to follow his mother’s suggestion. Maybe then she would find out that the scriptures weren’t talking about someone who stole your brothers’ candy.

Mom and the boys decided to stir up a big batch of cookies as a forgiveness offering. Before Davey knew it, he and Mom were walking across the street to deliver the cookies. Davey could see the neighbor boy through the living room window. He looked anxious when he saw both Davey and his mother coming up his walk. When he hesitantly answered the door, Davey gave him the large plate of cookies and wished him a happy Easter. Nothing was said about the trouble on the bus. The boy had a relieved but puzzled look on his face. As he closed the door, Davey and Mom waved good-bye and started back home.

It was then that Davey noticed a new feeling inside his chest. He had been mad and sad. Now, however, his chest wasn’t tight with anger, it was calm and peaceful. When they arrived home and were eating warm cookies with milk, Davey asked Mom how it could be that he felt so different so quickly.

“Because,” Mom said, “no matter what is broken in your life—your heart or anything else—following Jesus Christ is the best way to fix things. At Easter we celebrate not only that He died for us, but also how He lived. He taught us how to live and be happy, and if we do what He taught, we’ll be happy and have the Holy Ghost to comfort us. Living the gospel works.”

Davey thought about that for a long time—and he decided that the scriptures did teach about stolen Easter eggs, after all.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Mark Robison