I was sitting all by myself at the kitchen table after dinner. I was in third grade. Everyone had eaten and my mother was cleaning up. It was looking right at my mouth. My feet couldn’t touch the floor so running when her back was turned was not an option. It was a tongue taken from a calve. A cute, little calve became a mute so I can stare at it as it stared back at me.
“Calves Tongue,” considered a healthy delicacy and served in our humble, Manitowoc home. There was nothing delicate about living in Manitowoc so why push this delicacy into a young person’s mouth? I had my tongue, and I boldly told her, “No.” “No, I won’t eat this thing,” stuffed between two pieces of bread.
Not one to lose, my mother insisted hence the sole person at the table. If only she’d introduced it to me in French, “langue des veaux,” I would have gobbled it up and bragged about it the next day at school. Nope. A blunt English name. When she turned off the kitchen light, I suspect that was my cue to tough it out and eat the darn thing. A battle of wits between a forty-six-year-old and a ten-year-old.
I remember taking a small bite and running to the sink to spit it out. She made her point, and I made mine. I tried a piece. It was a win-win except for the calve who remained speechless.
All right. What does this have to with Easter and sin?
All right. What does this have to with Easter and sin? Admitting your sins is a private matter. It’s personal. Our Mother Mary or our God is carefully watching, always from the sidelines and patiently waiting. The delicacy of forgiveness is staring us right in the face. Psalm 23 cleverly tells us, “You set a table before me in the sight of my foes.” In our honesty and sincerity, we put our weaknesses right where we can see and control them. We already do this with our gifts and talents, so why not proudly but personally hold dear our sins? If only we didn’t call it sin, perhaps a minor lapse or, how about, a silly mistake or, better yet, a mindless error. Would that make the swallowing of our pride would be easier? Nope, because that’s not the word. It’s a sin.
Here’s the Easter part.
One author wrote, “The resurrection of Christ Jesus reimagines our lives on earth. Life from above brings hope and healing in our worldly need. Everyone learns about things of heaven when lives on earth are changed.” Everyone learns about things of heaven when lives on earth are changed. I like that.
It’s the result of taking a small bite out of our pride, spitting it out as a sign of release, turning off the light and enjoying a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow’s eyes are opened a little wider and the day after that. That’s Easter’s hope. It’s a hope that will never fail us. God even blesses us with a prayer of forgiveness, whether in the confessional or said from your heart.
Was this too corny? I don’t think so. Try it sometime. You may be able to live with your “langue des veaus” a little easier. I’m told it’s high in protein…or is it graces?