The Easter story, the happy ending in a tale of brutal crucifixion, suggests that there’s a powerful answer to the pain and evil that have touched the world throughout human history. That’s why the Easter narrative can resonate not only with Christians but in secular society, too. Any story of hope is needed now more than ever, as recent headlines have reminded us.

On this Easter, as in others, there’s trouble afoot on our anguished planet. The crime news, the dispatches from foreign battlefields, the lingering memory of recent beheadings by morally bankrupt terrorists — all of this is pretty grim stuff.

Yet, our capacity to be shocked and horrified by accounts of violence around the world is, perhaps, one of the more affirming things about the human spirit. We know that such cruelty is an aberration — that we’re made for something better than bringing darkness to someone else.

Easter speaks to our basic faith that love can transcend aggression, that miracles are possible.

In “Charlotte’s Web,” his classic children’s story, E.B White suggested that belief in miracles is perhaps not so strange a thing when we consider the presence of the overlooked miracles we take for granted. White was writing particularly about the life of a barnyard, where the wonders of pigs and ducks and spiders were spectacles so grand — but so routine — that few visitors thought of them as special.

Spring is like that, too, of course. After all the frost and cold of winter, the greening trees and emerging blossoms are an extraordinary thing, but they’re a victory we usually overlook.

Easter is a day to hold such gifts close to heart, to believe once again in the renewal of spring, and of ourselves.

Editor’s note: This editorial, in modified form, has appeared on previous Easter holidays in The Advocate.