Holy Thursday on a Wednesday

Last year, I wrote about one of my favorite annual traditions: washing my family’s feet on Holy Thursday. It resonated with many of you and some even said they were adopting it as their own this year. For those of you who missed it, I am linking to it here, but I have to be honest, it almost didn’t happen this year.

baby-feet

We are leaving for Mammoth today, so any foot-washing was going to have to happen a day early. It takes quite a bit of effort to create the experience and as of yesterday morning, I hadn’t done a lick of it yet. No songs, no letters, no time set aside. I started to rationalize: the kids are probably getting too old; they are so excited to go to Mammoth they will probably forget anyway; they would understand if I skipped it. But deep down, I knew. Nothing I needed to do was more important than creating this sacrament of love.

I was right.

Keara soaked up the moments, then hugged me tight.

Molly got tears in her eyes as we belted out her favorite song together.

Finn could hardly suppress his grin, saying “This is one of my favorite things you do.”

The Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr, said that of all the things the Catholic Church made into sacraments, he can’t believe they left this one out and I’ve got to agree. I hope that at least once in your life, you experience having your feet washed as a loving gesture, instead of a paid service, but I also hope you have the privilege of holding someone else’s feet in your hands and blessing them as Jesus did. It is a gift to both giver and receiver to be so vulnerable and to experience such intimacy and grace. This is sacred space. 

Video

A Flash Mob Made Me Cry

If they are honest about it, most writers want to say really important things, to have each story, paragraph and line convey something deep and meaningful. To be honest, I am one of those writers and my desire for significance frequently tempts me to say nothing at all. This week was no exception; I wanted to say something holy and  grace-filled as Easter approached, but I found my heart silent, until I saw this…

Since the video is five minutes long, I will keep my commentary short.

After morning carpool, I watched this video in my driveway and tears began to stream down my face. I don’t know why they came, but I have learned that when tears come unbidden, we are in sacred space. Our hearts are hearing a divine whisper and our body is responding in kind, but all too often, we shut it down and wipe them away. We actually run from the holy.

Poet Mark Nepo wrote, “Our ear is only a petal that grows from the heart.” What my ear heard in those five minutes, my heart loved. What my eyes saw, my soul celebrated. And as the crescendo played out before me and the children danced, I imagined the joy of this coming Sunday morning and the Alleluia choruses that will be sung the world over. I heard Rob Bell speak at USC last night on his new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, and strangely enough, he spoke of Nepo’s truth as well. Real seeing, he said, “happens when our eyes and our heart are looking at the same thing.” 

Whether we celebrate Easter or not, we are like the symphony in the square. We each have our own instrument to play, our own voice, talent and energy. My hope is that you will use yours this Sunday morning as you gather with your people – whoever and wherever they are – in Starbucks, in church, or in the middle of an Easter egg hunt. Let your ear be the petal of your heart. See the flash mob of joyful, exuberant love that surrounds you. Be brave and begin like the cello player, setting the process in motion. Be aware of the miracle of it all. And if the tears come, let them fall where they may. You are in sacred space.