I’m sitting here simply breathtaken by the absolute beauty of an egg.
And I need to talk about it.
If you came here for a tutorial on how to make these speckled eggs, that is coming up at the end of this post. But first… can I tell you a story?
It’s to do with beauty. The beauty of a blown egg, emptied out, fragile enough to crush in your hand with the barest effort. It’s to do with Easter. And it’s to do with my life, and yours.
See, this week something happened. I made a scary decision to open up about a really personal struggle and let the world know that I am not okay.
I thought I knew what would happen. Most would ignore it. Some would understand. And I was pretty sure a fair number of people would be annoyed. Most of you signed up for a home-making blog after all, not for me to spill my guts on the screen.
I published my post, went to bed, and lay awake the rest of the night, unable to sleep. What had I done? How could I be so reckless? What made me think that exposing my vulnerable heart on the internet could ever be a good idea?
Mixed in with the worry, I felt a lot of shame. Now people would know all my stuff. My secret, not-so-pretty stuff. I prepared myself for the inevitable barely-masked disapproval. The virtually-raised eyebrows. The cyber-silence that would leave me feeling uncomfortably exposed.
Instead, I woke up after an hour or two of snatched sleep, and this happened.
Messages began pouring in. Blog comments, emails, private messages, Facebook comments. The messages were filled with love, care and concern. A lot of people… a LOT of people… said they could understand.
That they’d felt the same way too.
The messages undid me. I cried my way through many of them. Spent four hours that day trying to respond to all of them, and couldn’t finish. Spent another several hours the next day.
Friends called, dropped round, offered help. I felt drenched in grace.
And I realised that like much in life, the truly worthwhile things are often the exact opposite of what we expect.
I thought I had to keep it all together. Be strong. Put on a good face. I thought that was how I would inspire people.
But it was when I emptied myself out…. when I let myself become fragile and truthful, and shakily placed my inmost heart in the hands of my readers… that people were inspired.
And there, cradled in those hands, hands that could crush me so easily, I found beauty.
The beauty of unexpected tenderness, of kindness undeserved and grace unasked for.
So I’m looking at these eggs, all emptied-out and hollow. They’re fragile, for sure.
They are also beautiful.
And it makes me think of Jesus. The King of heaven. People had predicted his coming for centuries. They thought they knew how it would be. He would come in glory. Rule in triumph. Lead his people in splendour.
Instead, he emptied himself out. He came fragile and utterly helpless. Just a baby. The king of heaven placed himself, literally, in human hands. A newborn infant who needed to be held and soothed and fed. He relinquished every right, every scrap of power, and came to us powerless, placing himself trustingly in our grip.
So much beauty. It didn’t look anything like what we expected. The truly beautiful things seldom do.
This Jesus grew and continued to empty himself out for us. He washed the dirt off our feet. He touched our unclean leprous skin. He ate with us and wept with us and loved us in our mess and our sinfulness. He gave sight to the blind. He embraced the untouchables. He walked for miles along dusty roads to bring healing to the sick and hope to the hopeless. He loved and gave, gave and loved.
And what did we do with this gift? This divine, luminous beauty?
We crushed him. He put himself all fragile in our hands, and we took the power he’d given us and destroyed the one true, beautiful thing this world had ever seen.
A broken body hung on a cross, like an eggshell crushed in a fist.
But even then… beauty.
Because like so much in life, the truly worthwhile things are the exact opposite of what we expect.
In the fragility, there was the power.
The hope of the world, hung all dying and broken on a cross.
“The son of God… loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galations 2:20)
I could not think of anything more beautiful.
Looking at these fragile, emptied-out eggs, I feel like Jesus is trying to tell me something. That maybe, a student is not above her teacher. That if the king of heaven can relinquish pride and status to pour himself out for others, maybe that’s what he wants from me as well.
From all of us.
To empty ourselves out, truthful and vulnerable. To put the realness of our inmost self in another’s hand, giving them the power to treasure our offering or break it. To quit the pretence and the hiding and the masks and offer our true and fragile self, a simple gift.
It’s scary as hell. I know this.
But there is nothing more beautiful.
- Blow eggs (I used this method)
- Mix 3/4 cup boiling water, 1 tsp white vinegar and about 1/2 tsp food colouring. Submerge blown eggs in the dye for about 5 minutes. I used a glass to weight my eggs down. (See pics of the process here)
- Use a toothbrush to spatter eggs with dark brown paint.
Happy Good Friday, friends! And: thank you. Truly.