Easter: At the Heart of it All…The Manger and the Cross

Dear Reader:

As one walks through downtown Summerville…some decorative street flags have the name of the town on them and others say: “At the heart of it all”…in other words you are right where it all began…the first “downtown” that would spread out to become the town of Summerville.

It made me start thinking…We always go back to the cross at Easter …because that is the symbol “at the heart of it all” for Christians around the world…but shouldn’t we go all the way back to the manger?

It was one line that I read in the last book of the Mitford series that made me connect The Christmas Story to the Easter Story. The connection between a star and a cross.

Father Tim had gone to visit an old life-time friend in a nursing home one Christmas morning and listened to her reminisce about the joys and sorrows in her life. As he was washing his hands at the sink, according to visitor regulations…it suddenly came to him…

“With all the joy and hope and laughter, there’s always, somewhere, the sorrow-just as there was in the manger that pointed to the cross.”

Haven’t you ever looked at the sky on a particularly beautiful night and started rubbing your eyes because you could see crosses overlapping the five-pointed stars? All shapes and sizes…some straight up…some crosses slanted to the right or left.

When I researched this…there are all kinds of explanations for this “optical illusion”…some for telescope lenses (quite complicated explanations) and other explanations for the naked eye…something about radiation in the skies…all playing “tricks” on what we are seeing. Is it a visual trick?

Billy Graham (“The Cradle, The Cross, and the Crown”) wrote:

Christmas, to have meaning, cannot be separated from the cross. The angel said at the birth of Jesus, “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus Himself said, speaking just before His death, “For this cause was I born” (John 18:37). He was the only person in history who was born with the purpose of dying.”

I loved the metaphor Graham used in his article…it makes something complicated easier to understand.

“During World War II, many a mother would take her son and try to keep the memory of the father, who was away at war, in the memory of the boy. One mother I heard about took her son every day into the bedroom and showed him a large portrait of the father who was away. And one day the little boy said, “Mom, wouldn’t it be great if Dad could just step out of the frame?”

That’s what happened that first Christmas. For centuries men had looked into the heavens longing for God to step out of the frame, and at Bethlehem that’s exactly what God did.”

So until tomorrow….Take a few minutes and gaze up at the stars this Easter Sunday…the same stars that shone the night Jesus was born…what wonderful memories they keep hidden within them and perhaps a star will beckon you as you see a cross form in the sky… like the cross beckoned Jesus all His life….“Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh  “Happy Easter”!




It is Easter….so it is time for the fairies to return to the garden and they arrived just in time to help hide the Easter eggs for Eva Cate and Jakie today. I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!!!

Easter Surprises in the Garden!

You can tell “Little Big Red” can stand alone….no more “little” in its name…maybe “Big Red” Jr….bigger now than “dad” at his peak! Thanks for the Easter bloom “Big Red”…my “resurrected” cloned miracle plant!


I put another suet cake out yesterday afternoon and the first ones to show up for dinner were Mr. and Mrs. Sammy the Cardinals. This time it was Mrs. Sammy who was throwing down food for Sammy…not the other way around. Taking turns at dinner time!




I was thanking Joan again for her Easter painting she sent me several Easters back and she said she had done another one, since then that she would send but couldn’t find it….but she surprised me yesterday by sending beautiful spring flowers and an adorable duck…Easter is here!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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8 Responses to Easter: At the Heart of it All…The Manger and the Cross

  1. bcparkison says:

    Blessings to you on this Resurrection Morning. My #2 son in Ga. text me that at the sunrise this morning the clouds took the form of a crown. Must have been beautiful.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      OMG! That must have been amazing….maybe some people took photos…and it will show up on the media…would love to see it. What an inspiring Easter sunrise service!!! Happy Easter to you and all your loved ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ambikasur says:

    Happy Easter to you all Becky… The Easter blog was too inspiring today… Never heard of this connection between the star and the cross… Glory to God… Loads of love and prayers..


  3. Becky Dingle says:

    Thank you…Want to keep up with your beautiful family Ambika….you feel like family to me….what a long way we both have come since your first contact. Isn’t life amazing?


  4. Becky,
    Your connecting of the Cross and Christmas is wonderful. I hear people debate which is more important, but you reminded us today that cannot have one without the other. Beautiful post. A keeper for me.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you so much! It was a real epiphany for me too….to realize that you can’t separate one from the other….life and death are natural occurrences…and the meaning of life is what we make it in between these these two benchmarks.


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