What Easter memories come to your mind? There was a boy who was in third grade. The time was the early 1970s. His first and second grade years were in one school which was in the logical place—in his community. Then someone decided that that communities could not do what was best for them and started some socially activist system which was collectively called “bussing.”
Dutifully, the third grader was compelled to get on a new bus and head out to another city. Only half of the children he had once known were sent as he was to this other concentration camp. Some of the other kids he never saw again. It was deemed all for the good of those who would not otherwise act in their own best interests, let alone the interests of others. While at the other establishment, the third grade teacher was involved in an automobile accident, and a new teacher was brought in. Why not? Nothing lasted anyway.
As was the case of many others, some parents gathered their children and fled from the oppressive SS (School System), to a system where the school was still comprised of those in the community. So the third grader went from being with all of the kids he knew, to half of the kids he knew, to being the new kid in a class in which he knew no one.
The third grade boy was rerouted from the freight cars to the Gestapo. The third grade teacher there was gruff and mean. She was obese and wore high heeled shoes. If a third grade child would have his foot in the aisle, she would walk by and drive his foot into the floor with her heel. The instruction was harder than the other school for the third grader. He was behind the other brown shirts. This was too much change, and love didn’t seem to be in the equation.
In their new home, the third grader had his family and things he had known most of his life. It was Easter of 1971. Relatives had come for the Easter Dinner and the Easter egg hunt to follow. They lived in a mobile home built on to an old army barracks. They had dreams of building a house on the property.
The eggs were hidden before the dinner to be found after the dinner. All had just sat down to eat in the army barracks. The third grader noticed smoke coming from the closed door of the trailer. He opened the door to the gates of hell. It was solid black on the other side and acrid smoke assaulted from the abyss. The trailer was burning down and there was no going to in to stop it.
All of the kids were evacuated and as many things as could be were saved from the army barracks. Little was. In horror and disbelief, what little familiar things the third grader had left were rushing into the expanse in the form of a roaring hot black monster and were never to return.
But there was his mother. She had no answers, but trembling, she called them all to take hands and form a circle. She called on her God. The third grader knew Him. Through her voice, he knew God wasn’t leaving, and He hasn’t left me yet. “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’”(Hebrews 13:5)