Images: Melanie Kyer
Ukraine has been on my mind all through Lent this year, so I decided to bake a traditional Ukrainian “paska” bread for Easter. As I kneaded the dough and shaped the braids and cross for the top, I prayed for peace. I brushed it with egg wash and put it in the oven Easter morning. When I pulled it out, it looked beautiful. I posted photos and got lots of “likes.”
But that shiny surface hid an embarrassing secret, the fear of anyone who’s watched “The Great British Baking Show”: a lump inside the very center was raw. I’d never baked such a large loaf before, and since it had chilled in the fridge overnight, it needed longer to bake than I’d given it. Explanations aside, the fact was: the loaf looked lovely outside and was imperfect inside.
Isn’t that true for so many of us? We can show up for Easter in brand new dresses, post perfect photos of our families, but under the surface things may not be what they seem.
A friend used to have a little wall hanging in her house that read “Be Patient: God isn’t finished with me yet,” and it occurs to me that even Jesus said something like that after the resurrection when Mary saw Jesus and ran to him, amazed:
Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17)
There’s a reason Eastertide lasts 50 days: the joy of Jesus’ resurrection is just the beginning: we still have a lot of Easter work in front of us. We may look shiny and impressive on the outside, but inside…well, we might just have a doughy middle. (And so might those people you see in their flashy Instagram photos). Be patient and keep working this Eastertide. God isn’t finished with any of us, yet.