If You Want to Start Your Holy Week off Well {A Holy Week: Day 1}

My Grandma, she told me if you found a man who’d weep over a story — that was a man you could marry.

The morning of Palm Sunday, the porridge boils over and burns on the stove.

Hope tries on three dresses, slumps into the kitchen and declares she has nothing to wear. Shalom can’t find her pink hair bow — only a blue one that’s missing the barrette. Caleb points out that someone’s dropped their orange peels all down the back garage steps.

I’m strangling down a frustrated rant.

Malakai, reaching for milk for his porridge, slips off his chair and splits his lip right open on the edge of the table.

There is blood dripping on our kitchen floor on Palm Sunday.

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And on the kitchen table, there’s a bent silhouette carrying a cross.

He’s nearing the Story’s climax.

Twice, Jesus weeps in the Story.      

When He saw where death had laid out Lazarus, when he saw his friend’s tomb, when he stood with the crying Mary, His Spirit moved like over the face of the waters, and water ran down the face of God.

That’s what Grandma had said: A man who can break down and cry — is man who will break open his heart to let your heart in. 

Jesus wept.

He had loved Lazarus.

Our God is the God to find comfort in because ours is the God who cries… the God tender enough to break right open and let His heart run liquid and He is the river of life because He knows our heart streams. One day He will wipe all tears away because He knows how the weeping feel:  He has loved us.

I hold a crying Malakai and his bloody lip on a messy Palm Sunday and our tears and love mingles with God’s.

Palm Sunday —  the second time in the Story when the pain breaks Him and when the palm branches wave, our God weeps:  When Jesus approached Jerusalem, “he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace…”

If only you had known what would bring you peace…

You want comfort — and I offer you a Cross.
You want position — and I offer you purpose.
You want ease — and I offer you eternity.

God cries because His people cry for things that won’t bring them peace.

The people that praise Him quiet on Palm Sunday on the way into the city — are the same crowd that cry “Crucify” loud on Good Friday when it doesn’t go their way.

And I am the woman who praises Him quiet when it goes my way — and who complains loud when it doesn’t.

This is what happens when God doesn’t meet expectations. When God doesn’t conform to hopes, someone always goes looking for a hammer.

I can bang my frustration loud.

The Pastor would say it on Sunday — that the people’s Hosanna was a cry that literally meant “Save us! Save us!

Jesus weeps because we don’t know the peace that will save us. What brings us peace is always praise.

There are donkey days and I’m the fool who doesn’t recognize how God comes. God enters every moment the way He chooses and this is always the choice: wave a palm or a hammer.

How many times have I wondered how they could throw down their garments before Him on Sunday and then throw their fists at Him on Friday? But I’m the one in the front row:

If my thanksgiving is fickle, then my faith is fickle.

I stroke Malakai’s forehead. Press mine to his.

“Can we just go to church now, Mama?” Malakai murmurs it, takes the cloth from his lip and I see the wound. I wipe his wet cheek.

I hold him. Just hold him long on Palm Sunday morning, with these tears on the fingertips. Ready for praise on the lips. Keeping company with the Christ who cries, His heart broken wide open to let us in.

And I nod, “Yes, yes… let’s.” And he slides off my lap.

And we walk out the door for church on Palm Sunday, waving this brazen, unwavering thanks.

Waving it before the Christ walking right there with the palms open wide.

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Join us? And happily change everything by keeping your own crazy list of One Thousand Gifts? Dare you to Joy ! Take the dare to Fully Live! 

1. Grab the free JOY DARE Calendar with 3 daily prompts to go on a scavenger hunt for God’ gifts … {or write down any gifts you choose. Use the free app.} 2. Count 3 gifts a day and you have over #1000gifts in 2014. Jot them down in the numbered One Thousand Gifts Devotional Journal  — The Farmer’s writing in his with a red pen and daily – the numbers in the journal already there! Motivating…  3. Share your gifts everyday in our beautiful Facebook community or on Twitter (label with #1000gifts #JoyDare) to enter for the monthly $100 Amazon draw (or link to your blog post with your list of gifts). 4. Count #1000gifts in 2014 and enter to win a Nikon DSLR camera with lens. Slow Down. Savor Life. Give thanks. Believing something is one thing. But the Best only comes when you decide to Be Living it. Please, jump in, make your life about giving thanks to God! — Just add the direct URL to your specific 1000 gift list post… and if you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other in our refrain of thanks by sharing the community’s graphic within your post.

Give thanks to the Lord! His Love Endures Forever!


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