I love Holy Week. It is one of my favorite times of the year, so rich in beautiful liturgies, so profound in the way it changes who we are as it reminds us of Christ’s death.
Last year I missed almost all of Holy Week since Monkey was about a week old. A sleep-deprived new mom, I prayed at home as much as I could and lamented missing nearly all of the liturgies. This year, Monkey’s birthday falls on Good Friday. I am, as usual, very excited for Holy Week and all of the reflection it affords us – time to take stock of our lives, our sin, and our relationship with the God who died for us. But in another sense, I am excited for my baby to turn one, and yet wondering where an entire year went since she was, of course, born yesterday.
When I think of Holy Week, I often think of quiet. The whole week is somber – less music during the liturgies, statues and icons wrapped in purple cloth. There is an eeriness to the quiet, and yet it is welcoming. The quiet invites us to stop listening to the world, even to the fears in our own heads, and focus on the God who loves us, the Christ who came to die for us. It is as if all the noise stops so that we can hear Him crying out from the cross.
And then there’s motherhood. Despite the fact that the liturgies become much more stark, I have no doubt that my one year old won’t grasp that concept. There is very little quiet when it comes to her, unless she’s napping. In a way, motherhood has sharpened my focus. In those rare moments when my daughter is quiet (and not getting into something she shouldn’t be), my focus becomes laser sharp: the liturgy is all I know. I don’t have moments to let my mind flit about, I have only the moments my daughter is content to occupy herself, and those moments are precious.
Whether your Holy Week is filled with the increasingly quiet liturgies or the noise of everyday life, take time to find those moments of quiet, be it naptime or after bedtime. Drink in the quiet. All too often in our world we fear quiet, we fear listening to where God is calling us because it might be someplace new, someplace we fear, someplace unknown. Take time during this holiest of weeks to sit in the silence, if only to listen to Jesus tell you that He’s sacrificing for you and that He’d go through all the pain even if you were the only person on earth.