This week, our spiritual director has been telling the story of Easter during our morning devotion time. Each day, she has added a piece to the story, which has been great because she’s such a good story teller and the kids (and mothers) have been listening attentively all week, leaning in towards the end of each meeting as the suspense builds, in order to better hear what might come next.
For one of our group art therapy sessions this week we talked a little bit more about the meaning of the Easter story and the kids worked on a craft together. We talked about how Jesus died for our sins so that we could live, and it brought up some great conversation amongst the kids.
After our group session, the kids were talking about how they wanted to go back to their rooms and hang their pictures on their wall. Then one of them suggested they put all the pictures together on the same wall because that way they could enjoy them together. They decided to put them in one of the rooms at the patient guesthouse that is a typical hang out spot for all the kids.
The communal artwork often bleeds over into the communal living space at the hospital, and adds color, beauty and joy to the lives of these children, which are often filled with darkness, suffering and pain. That juxtaposition is one they are familiar with, and one that is seen in the Easter story. Maybe that is why the story resonates with them so much. They understand the agony of crucifixion, and the celebration of resurrection; the nearness of death, and the significance of its defeat. They have seen their arms and their legs enclosed and entombed in white plaster casts, and have had them cut off and cast aside. They have endured the sacrifice of physical therapy and taken the first stumbling steps of freedom. They have tasted bitter fear but now see sweet salvation.
“Il est ressuscité!”
Originally posted at https://joshjulieblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/happy-easter-from-cure-niger/.