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You Mean He Was Dead?

“Papaw, tell us the Easter story.”

The Carpenters gather in the living room after Easter Sunday services at their church. Everyone is there -Papaw Carpenter, the grandfather, Gina Majors, Papaw’s daughter and her three children, Myna and the twins, Brendon and Brandon, Mark Carpenter, his wife, Justice and their teen age son, David.

It is customary for the Carpenters to meet for Sunday dinner on Easter after church services. They have met together for years even after Mark started attending a different church than his father and sister, even after Gina’s divorce, and especially after Grandma died.

None of those changes stopped them from meeting, so this COVID 19 social distancing restriction was not going to stop them, either. Some critical differences do exist this Easter.

First of all, they all attended the same church service. Mark decided to attend his home church’s service this year instead. The church service was through YouTube, so everyone is in their own home, ate their own meal, consisting of basically the same menu with the exception of Mark’s family eat vegetarian and Papaw and Gina prepared ham.

They all still sat down together at their separate dining rooms but utilize Face Time to converse. It began a little awkward and slower than normal, but soon picked up into normal joking and teasing and even an argument or two between siblings. Even David pretended to be bored and disgusted with the whole thing like he normally does ever since he hit puberty.

As is customary, they meet in the living room, only this time their separate living rooms where Papaw gives his rendition of the Easter Resurrection morning.

That is every one but Papaw goes to there prospective living rooms. Papaw decides to go to his garden where he has placed a bench. He often goes out there to read, relax, and even pray.

“Early in the morning, Mary Magdalene rose up early and found the other Mary already awake,” Papaw begins. “They decide that they will go visit Jesus at his tomb.”

“Jesus was hung and killed, right, Papaw?” Brendon interrupts.

“He was nailed onto a tree, not hung,”  Myna corrects her little brother gently in her usual motherly tone.

“Let your Papaw tell the story,” Gina tries to redirect the children before it gets too violent. “It’s enough to say Jesus is dead and buried.”

“I remember. On the way to the tomb, it got real dark and there was a earthquake,” Myna recalls from hearing this version several times.

“Yes, Myna, you haven’t forgotten,” Papaw answers, “Do you know what caused the earthquake?”

Myna thinks for a little while but when she cannot recall, she becomes embarrassed but not defeated.

“Mommy told me to let you tell the story, Papaw, so I’ll let you tell us what caused it,” Myna quickly diverts the attention away from herself.

“It was an angel who came down to roll the stone away from the tomb where Jesus was buried. The Bible says he shone bright like the lightning and his clothes were as white as snow.”

“That sounds pretty, doesn’t it Papaw?” Myna comments.

“I think it does, Myna, but the guards that were guarding the tomb to make sure the disciples didn’t steal Jesus’ body were so shocked by the sight of the angel that they passed out.”

“Did they, Papaw?” Brandon wonders.

“Did the guards pass out?”

“No, did the disciples steal the body?”

“No, there was no body in the tomb,” David quickly answers.

Papaw smiles and continues, “Jesus had risen from the dead?”

Papaw pauses for a moment when he recognizes Brendon in deep thought.

“Brendon, do you have something to say?”

“What’s a tomb?”

“It’s where they used to bury people in the old days.”

“You mean he was dead?”

“Yes, he was but now he lives.”

“Why did he have to die?”

“So, you can go to Heaven.”

“But you also have to be good and obey your parents and go to church before you can go to Heaven. Right, Mommy?” Myna adds.

“I’m going to let Papaw answer that one,” Gina declares.

“I suddenly seem to be having trouble with my Face Time,” Papaw jokes.

“God wants you to be good, but no one can be good all the time. So, we will never be as good as Jesus,” David offers an explanation.

“I’m good aren’t I Mommy,” Myna argues.

“You are, Myna – most of the time,” Gina gives Myna a hug.

“David is right. God wants us to be good to each other and that is the way he created us. That’s how we show God how much we love him and believe him,” Papaw weighs his words and simplifies it for the children.

What Papaw doesn’t know is that this part of his story is too dull to keep Myna and the twins interest any more.

“But after Adam and Eve allowed doubting him to enter into their hearts, it would become difficult to continue on with their beautifully close relationship and his perfect world would deteriorate.”

“Dad,” Gina interrupts, “I’ve allowed the kids to go play outside. I’m going to go out with them awhile. I think we’ll do an Easter egg hunt after while.”

“Nice story, again, Papaw,” David adds. “I need to answer this text. Love you.”

Papaw nods and thinks how good it feels to still share that connection with his quickly maturing grandchildren. He still finds it precious to commune with his son and daughter, too. He sure misses his wife and believes one day they will be together in God’s perfect world.

“Dad, I think we’ll be signing off, too. My iPhone is down to 28%,” Mark shares with his lovely bride smiling into the phone just over Mark’s shoulder.

Papaw turns off his phone and rests it on the bench beside him. He breathes in the spring air and observes the revitalizing of the nature around him. Quiet surrounds him as he rests in the garden alone.

Categories: Easter for Christians Short Story

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Douglas Knight

I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at

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