It’s just a few days before Easter, a few days before everyone sheds their old grave clothes to be decked out in beauty and a bonnet for Easter Sunday morning, when she turns to me and says,“I just really wanna buy something that’s beautiful and lovely.”
That’s what the woman tells me. You could see that look in her eyes, looking for something lovely.
Something new and shiny and lovely, that catches the light in it’s own way.
Sometimes we want to possess lovely things — because we’re still figuring out that Love is a Person.
Love is a person and the Wednesday of Holy Week is the only day of Holy Week that Scripture is silent about and doesn’t tell us exactly what that person, Jesus, actually did.
Which is why the Wednesday of Holy Week is often called “Silent Wednesday.” Knowing He’s about to face deep, unfathomable suffering, on the cusp of the very end of His earthly life, Jesus quietly retreats into the silence and solitude of beautiful intimacy with His Father.
“Something — beautiful,” is what the woman said, “I just want something really beautiful.”
Maybe, you know —a silky new blouse? Slimming. Shimmering — just a bit.
Draping across the shoulders to make her look like a rising, like an unexpected super nova that stops the unsuspecting dead in their slack-jawed tracks. Just a bit.
Maybe she could just click through a dozen rabbit-hole sites, order a bit here, a bit there, and go ahead and fill a closet full of all the lovely things.
When you know love is actually about self-giving, like Love gave Himself— then maybe the loveliest things are not about self-having?
“Your life is only a blink long —and then you wake up to the forever that your life chose.”
“Somedays — I just want all the beautiful things, you know? Floral and chiffon, all in filtered warm light.” She’d turned, caught light of her own.
I know exactly what she means, and I have asked it of myself: Do we want a curated stream of beauty to somehow make sense of our own chaotic stream of consciousness?
And then a woman turned to me in a car last week, and asked me what I didn’t see coming in the least.
“So what do you want your life to really be about?”
Her question left me hushed and silent.
Your life is only a blink long —and then you wake up to what forever that your life chose.
And then we’d pulled up and the GPS announced that we had arrived at our destination. She opened the car door. And I sat there, silent, fixed and yet a kind of jarred, broken, staring out the windshield, heart unshielded. Exposed.
What do I really want? What do I want my one life to really be about? Even the calendar this week is turning to look toward Jesus and what He did with His one life. Because He wanted to live given into an intimate relationship with us most.
What you most want — is what you most love.
And what you love — is what you’ll ultimately have for all eternity.
And I’m thinking:
“Any craving for the beautiful — is really a craving for Jesus.
Doubtful that you’re thinking of pretty Instagram streams when you’re standing at the river of Life flowing like a torrent of glory from the throne room of God.
Doubtful that you’re standing at the feet of Jesus, thinking you wanted more threads in your closet when you could have been about more souls in the Kingdom.
But there is no doubt:
Beautiful things can genuinely be made into meaningful things, beautiful can definitely be made into faithful things, and certainly, thank God Almighty, there is no definitive black and white line in the sand between beautiful and meaningful.
But there are times when instead of trying to forcefully all see the monied-beautiful as ministry-meaningful… we may be better to simply seek out the most meaningful — and see that as the most beautiful.
Meaningful over beautiful.
The most fulfilling lives actually see the meaningful — as the most beautiful.
Any craving for the beautiful — is really a craving for Jesus.
And maybe: A tragic life is a life driven by social media likes instead of Christ-motivated loves.
“You were meant for greatness — and greatness is about loving greatly. And living greatly given.“
Because honestly —
It would be a travesty to have a life about only collecting all the beautiful things — instead of recollecting that we were made for greater things.
You’re meant for more than collecting beautiful sea-shells. You were made of the beauty of intimacy — relational intimacy with God and with people.
When I light the candles on the lenten wreath, the flames waver.
While the Wednesday of Holy Week has Jesus spending His last hours in silence and solitude with God, Judas is in the midst of what is called “Spy Wednesday,” where he spies on his intimate friend, sells his friend, His Lord, for 30 pieces of silver.
Judas sold Jesus, the One who came to set the captives free, for the same amount of coin that it would take to buy one slave.
Judas betrayed one of his closest friends, to buy what he’d thought was worth it — only to realize he’d sold his soul and made his own soul a slave to the dark.
In the darkened shadows, the candles of our lenten wreath are disappearing, melting lower, giving themselves into light.
Let this Holy Week dismantle everything that isn’t about eternal things.
The Wednesday of Holy Week can either be “Spy Wednesday,” where our preparations for Easter betray Jesus, to buy what isn’t really worth it.
Or our Wednesday of Holy Week can be “Silent Wednesday” — where we quiet our hearts and retreat into the sacred silence and beauty of God.
On that Holy Week Wednesday, Judas decided to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver: How does what we buy betray the worth of Christ?
What if instead of spying about, so we can be buying more — we made space for a sacred silence with God to encounter the glorious beauty of God.
You were meant for greatness — and greatness is about loving a great God greatly. About living greatly given.
I sit before the flames of the lenten wreath with the wooden silhouette of Jesus carrying a cross around the wreath, around the world, around time and the cosmos and at the heart of the universe is a servant bending low, giving away His heart, never doubt this.
“God doesn’t call us to an impressive life — He calls us to an important life.”
The most beautiful life is a given life.
A life given to God, given to our people, given to community, given to those in need — is what gives our lives deepest beauty.
God doesn’t call us to an impressive life — He calls us to an important life.
A life of importance isn’t found in a life that’s impressive, but in a life that presses into the ways and heart of Jesus.
On the Wednesday of Holy Week, candle flames flicker brave, flicker on against the dark, and there is time to simply still and make intentional space for silence and prayer.
On the Wednesday of Holy Week, Judas turned toward having 30 pieces of silver to spend — but Jesus spent the day with the beauty of God.
Silent Wednesday is for taking time to intentionally turn off the world, and hushing our souls, and lighting a candle, and sitting with His Love Letter, His very Word, and paying attention to the beauty of the heart of the only One who has ever loved us to death and back to the realest life in His Love.
Silent Wednesday is for the free beauty of taking a walk under some trees, soaking in His glory, and having a prayer walk in silence with the One who never stops whispering your name, beckoning you to Himself.
Silent Wednesday is for making time for the beauty of worship.
The beauty we all want to buy is only found when we spend time with the beauty of God.
The most beautiful lives — live for the most meaningful.
You weren’t meant for self-gratification. You were meant for soul greatness, in communion with a Great God.
I met a woman once who said she wanted to buy what was beautiful.
But then her soul turned around — and decided to pay attention to all the broken and beautiful ways to live what is meaningful.
Her people said that she had no idea how she became, quietly, silently, beautifully, over time, more and more like light.
Like all the meaningfulness of His light.
If you are considering how to have a meaningful, Memorable Easter, Consider Our Free library of printables & tools to retreat into the Beauty of His Presence:
(the Easter Resources are found under “Free Tools”)