Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. - Hebrews 12:1
Today, the day between the adoring crowds of Palm Sunday and the chanting mobs of Friday, is sometimes called Silent Wednesday, since scripture does not record what Jesus did on this day. It was just an ordinary day in an extraordinary week. We try to imagine what conversations or chores made up the day. Did Jesus' day include a morning prayer, a walk to the marketplace, a healing hand, a simple teaching, a shared laugh, a sorrowful tear, a meal or two, the sweet release of a few hours' sleep?
The public turning over of the tables, the anguished last words, the glory of the resurrection—all of these are remembered and recorded. But on Wednesday, the cameras were off. We have no email trail, no security camera footage, no hash-tagged social media updates, #WedsCoffeeWithMyLordandSavior, #blessed.
"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing," writes the sage Annie Dillard. More and more, we live in front of cameras and screens, aware that we are surrounded as much by the witness of the cloud as a cloud of witnesses. When so much of your life is documented, what you do with "this hour and that one" matters more than ever. When there is no public either adoring you or shouting you down, how do you spend your Silent Wednesdays?
How do you live those days when the cloud of witnesses is your only witness?
Brother Jesus, You are already our witness. May this hour and that one and every single one be worthy of your compassionate attention.
Jennifer Brownell is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.