Easter Egg Hunts are part of the traditions surrounding Easter that don’t make sense to me. Rabbits don’t lay eggs or eat them. So why an Easter bunny? And why not just give them as gifts instead of hiding them?
Like most traditions, hiding Easter eggs is symbolic, not logical. Like most symbolic actions the meaning of it changes over time. Even giving myself permission to change the symbolism I have struggled to come up with something with any clear symbolism.
Here is what I have come up with: The egg represents a life. It is decorated so that we see it is a beautiful life. However, that beauty is hidden until it is found. If we want to see the beauty in the life represented by the egg we need to go looking for it.
Of course, giving prizes for the most eggs found, or putting a value on one certain egg over all the others ruins that symbolism, but all symbolism only goes so far. I don’t want to take the fun out of the hunt itself.
This symbolism works for me because I have learned to find beauty in the lives of the people I meet. Often it is hidden. We don’t always see ourselves as beautiful people. We have let others dictate to us that beauty is clear skin of a certain color, or hair worn in just the right way, or the latest in clothing fashions.
A beautiful life, however, is not about the outward appearance. It is about the heart and the actions that spring from the values held in that heart. It shows itself in acts of compassion, generosity and kindness.
When we celebrate Easter in church we try to add a little extra beauty in the looks of the sanctuary, the celebratory music and the clothes we wear. All these things are in themselves symbols of the beauty we find revealed in the divine love as it shines through the people around us. If you don’t see that beauty, go looking for it.
May you find beauty this Easter.