Holy Week, Les Miserables, and white patent leather shoes.

White Patent Leather ShoesIt’s Holy Week. As is often the case this time of year, I feel some ambivalence: a tinge of regret, a flood of emotion, a lifetime of memory. So many Easter Sundays spent. A young girl in a new dress and white patent leather shoes. A mother with young daughters in new dresses and white patent leather shoes. And now, a faith-full and church-less woman with no logical reason for a new dress or white patent leather shoes.

Was there ever really a logical reason for white patent leather shoes?

My now-less-young daughters came home from a weekend at their dad’s with the Deluxe Edition DVD set of Les Misérables - including the collectible book, the collectible cards, and lots of behind-the-scenes content. I thumbed through and then tumbled across four phrases, all in caps, each on their own page, boldly proclaiming the film’s Eastertide (and practically-illogical) message:

ONE DREAM CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.
FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU LOVE MOST.
FIGHT FOR JUSTICE.
HOPE CHANGES EVERYTHING.

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Doctrine, denomination, affinity for epic musicals, and ambivalence aside, Holy Week tells a similar story. The message inherent in the life of Jesus (and Les Mis) is both impossible and impractical (sort of like white patent leather shoes). But that’s exactly why we love it so; why we weep at its poignancy and power; why we silently hum (and pray) the lyrics to I Dreamed a Dream or Handel’s Messiah; why we fondly, wistfully recall our days of new clothes and shiny shoes. Because it’s the impossible and impractical, the seemingly-crazy, the risky, the beyond-belief, the self-sacrificing, and the love – Love – LOVE that touches us more deeply than anything else, that moves us, that inspires us, that invites us to believe.

To believe — even for a moment — is holy, is sacred, is resurrection for your very soul.

Believe that no form or aspect of death can contain the impossible, impractical, and wild power of Love. Believe that it is the impossible, impractical, and wild power of Love that enables you to rise – again and again. And believe that whether you don white patent leather shoes, or not, the impossible, impractical, and wild power of Love is a dream worth dreaming, a fight worth fighting, justice beyond compare, and the hope that changes everything.

It is my prayer that you will know and experience infinite and overflowing amounts of this impossible, impractical and wild Love throughout Holy Week (and always) – in unbridled, unimaginable, unlimited ways; that our world will know the same. May it be so.

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