From the moment I started attending Hoboken Grace three years ago, all I wanted to do at the Easter Egg Hunt was be a bunny. This year, my dream finally came true.
Walking into Mama Johnson Field at 7 a.m., I was so excited about being involved that I forgot just how tired I was. After helping set up, I got into the dugout, where my costume awaited. It was my time to shine. All bunnied up, I was escorted onto the field by my travel companion, ready to take my place and await families coming to take pictures.
Pastor Chris got on the loudspeaker to announce we were minutes away from welcoming families onto the field. Thankfully, I had my travel champion, Shelley, who would announce when a child was coming to take a picture with me. This helped immensely, due to my lack of vision. Knowing that I couldn’t talk or see, I figured it might just be easier to sit still and make the same motions over and over. As I made giant arm movements motioning for little ones to come sit on my lap or sit next to me, I never would have anticipated what happened next.
Some kids who came to sit with me would scream, some wouldn’t say anything at all, and others, well, they melted my heart. I remember feeling a little hot under the mask when all of a sudden, I heard Shelley call out “Cottontail,” and three little bodies were near me. One little girl grabbed my fingers and squeezed. Another little girl hugged my left arm. The third was on my lap and leaning all the way into me. As if that didn’t completely leave you breathless, another mother told me she was handing me her 4-week-old baby. There were countless other interactions like this.
I was left speechless by the amount of love I saw that morning, even through a mask with no visibility. I saw love between those families. I saw love between people like Shelley and my leaders. I saw love from every single person who put attention to detail into where those bunnies were going to sit, the backdrop behind them and the photographers taking those free family photos. And then there was the feeling I experienced as those kids sat beside me, eager to pose with Cottontail.
I initially wanted to be a bunny because I thought it would be fun and active. What the experience brought me, though, was so much more than I ever could have imagined.
This weekend the celebration continues into Easter! You’re invited to be part of any of our services.
Good Friday – 5:00pm | 6:30pm
Easter Celebration – Saturday – 5:00pm – Sunday- 8:30am | 10:00am | 11:30am | 1:00pm
301 Garden Street, Hoboken