From the Dross, Easter


I wrote and published this post last April.


Yesterday, Tracey got married.

She told me this last night when she arrived at the shelter where I am an evening supervisor. She wrote "Brown" instead of "Johnson" on the sign-in sheet, and flashed a copy of the official paper.

"I got married!" she beamed.

Today is Easter.

Hope for Christians, and new life for all who live in climates where spring is most welcome. New life, new birth.

Birth can be messy.

We'd like to think of weddings as white and pure, not as a ceremony between people who spend their honeymoon in separate homeless shelters. A man and a woman who have a four-year-old daughter. A bride who was raped by a family friend at age 11, became pregnant, and had a son.

But this wedding is a new start for Tracey. As a married couple, she and her husband will be able to secure housing more easily. It's a messy start, yes, but sometimes birth requires that. To celebrate, Tracey opened a few tins of cookies and shared them with everyone. The guests at this makeshift reception conversed over food and drink near the mats they'd sleep on later.

As Tracey relayed the account of how she and her husband met, she caught sight of something.

Easter grass, lying in the trash. Discarded. The plastic ribbon kind that makes a mess everywhere no matter how you try to contain it.

Tracey set down her cookies for a moment and gathered the best strands.

"For my kids," she said, beaming once again. "For their baskets."

Today is Easter. And yesterday, Tracey got married.


  1. Perfect.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Thank you. I have several Easter-themed ideas for posts in my head, but this one won out. I'll have to ask my liturgical husband if Easter extends past yesterday.

  3. What a powerful story. A very good reminder for all of us who have been through messy beginnings, too. I loved the irrepressible sense of joy that wound its way through this story, despite the hardships. Easter, indeed.

  4. Tracey always exuded joy. Even when her wrist was wrapped up because some guy assaulted her as they both waited in line for a meal. I hope life is still moving forward for her.


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