I bought a bag full of Easter candy at the grocery store the day before yesterday, and a dozen real eggs for coloring. Upon returning home, I was anxious to hide the candy from curious eyes and shuffled it upstairs, quietly depositing the whole bag into my closet--real eggs and all.
I realized my mistake only yesterday when it came time to color the eggs. "What happened to the eggs I bought?" I asked in a generally accusing tone as I perused the empty egg shelf in our fridge... Oops.
It didn't matter, though, that the eggs hadn't been refrigerated because we were only coloring them, not eating them. I boiled them just the same and the boys dropped them in little plastic buckets filled with vinegar and dye and we were all very pleased with the results.
Later, I smelled a foul smell. Alex came running to deliver the report, "Nicholas smooshed some of our colored eggs and inside them was REAL EGGS!" He shouted in amazement.
Nicholas had smashed three eggs, smooshing their hard boiled insides all over the counter top. It didn't look as though he had eaten any. He was in it for the smooshing. Thank goodness.
As I cleaned the mess unthinkingly, and because it was Good Friday, I began to look hungrily at the smashed eggs. Then, coming to my senses, I gagged at the thought of actually eating these perhaps-rotten eggs, the whites of which were tinged purple and green with dye, mixed as they were with bits of broken shell. And the yolks were smeared in long pasty streaks along an un-wiped kitchen counter. I can't imagine many things less appetizing.
Then I recalled the Prodigal Son, who had eyed with jealously the schlop put out for swine. That was the moment that had awakened him to his wretchedness, "The servants in my father's house eat better than I do now," he had thought to himself and decided to return home. There, he was welcomed with feasting by his loving father.
Now Lent is coming to a close and we will soon be turning our fasting to feasting. No matter how well or poorly my Lent has gone, I know I will be welcome in my Father's House. It is my hope that there, while feasting on the fatted calf, I do not forget so easily the cost of a squandered inheritance.