Holy Wednesday: Alabaster Jar

Today I planted kale, broccoli, and onions in the garden. A gentle breeze blew all day and the trees with their skeletal green bristled softly. It’s holy Wednesday.
Wikipedia tells me this day is sometimes called Spy Wednesday—though this is news to me—referring to Judas’ agreement to betray Jesus. Tradition also holds this as the day we remember the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears.
Another day of contradictions. Another day of bemused wonder. Thirty pieces of silver. An alabaster jar.
Who is this Jesus who even forgives sins? The one who lets a sinful woman weep over his feet and dry his skin with her hair?
It is dark now and I stand at the window looking up into a glacial sky. The white that covers dark blue is the same one that brought the rain through earlier. The rain that gently quenched my newly planted seeds and bulbs. There is no moon and it makes me sad. I hope it is a star-drenched sky tomorrow for our Maundy Thursday service.
My heart is breaking slowly with each step we take toward the cross.
Earlier this evening, our church had its annual Easter egg hunt. The boys are too old now, but they help hide the eggs before going downstairs with the youth to stink up those tiny rooms off the fellowship hall with their growing body smells and do all the things that teenagers do. I send them with their father and while they are gone I go for a run.
It happens after the fourth mile. The air is lusty with scent from all the blooming trees. And sorrow overwhelms me. It might just be the thick velvet layer of yellow pollen that covers our valley right now if I didn’t feel this twisting in my heart. And I remember his words on the road to the cross…Do not weep for me, he said. And shortly after that: For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?
The trees are green lace with leaves unfolding and the world is wet from the rains that just passed through an hour before. A sob catches in my throat and I know we Christians are supposed to claim the joy but I can’t help it.
I’m so sorry, Jesus,I silently say. I’m so, so sorry.
The wind picks up and all around me is white as I run through scattered petals shed free. My tears fall thick and my alabaster jar is in shards, silently drifting with the breeze.
With my sweet friend Jennifer today: 
And with the lovely kd:


  1. Melissa@onethingblog says

    Ohhhhh….Yes…Feeling this today. So needed the resurrected Jesus in me today…Sunday is COMING!!!

  2. says

    Laura, I had the exact experience on Sunday during our Palm Sunday services. Each year we nail our sins/worries/problems/junk – whatever we need to nail – on the cross. I was overwhelmed and the tears flowed. I love what our pastor said, “What appeared destructive was actually life-giving.”

    Thanks for how beautifully you tell your stories! I appreciate your gift.

  3. says

    I have always wondered about the amount – the 30 pieces. How much was it? Was it enough to buy a few days food? A house? A lifetime of comfort? Or really, was just a temporary enjoyment.

    How many times do I sell out my God for a short-lived pleaseure.

  4. says

    I’ve never put those two pieces so closely together–the thirty pieces of silver and alabaster jar. You did so beautifully.

    I find great comfort and hope in a star-filled sky–something I wrote about yesterday.

  5. says

    It still surprises me how I miss some little details…and how profound these can be…Judas…Mary m…two choices…one of life…one of death…we have those choices everyday…Lord help me to be on that pours myself out for you. thanks for this…blessings~

  6. says

    Yes, certainly we Christians are marked by *joy*, BUT I like the way you give yourself permission to fully enter into the *sadness* of the “Man of Sorrows” . . .

    perhaps one enhances the other.

    Sweet meditations, here.
    Thank you.

  7. says

    “Who is this Jesus who even forgives sins?” May my life’s call be to learn this answer, to know Him more and more each day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pointing me to Him.

  8. says

    Oh, Laura. You are so precious. You have such a tender heart. Don’t shoo it away–it’s a gift, a charism.

    I’ll think of you when I’m at my Maundy Thursday service tonight.

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