I’m on vacation this week. It’s important to be sure this week is Sabbath-y.
Yesterday, I slept in and got a 90 minute massage…but I also went to the bank to manage some things, grocery shopped, and cooked a lot for the week. So, was it Sabbath?
Today, I got up very early (before dawn) to shower and get out the door in time to be in Columbia, SC for the funeral of a dear friend’s son.
I super duper hate getting up early. Getting up early is never a part of my Sabbath plan. Neither is driving through Charlotte. But, gathering in the name of Jesus to sing, pray, and hear the power of life over death is 100% Sabbath. And sitting behind a group of men who were in the same motorcycle club as the man who died…that felt holy and Sabbath-y, too.
And listening to Deborah read Romans 8 like she believed it in her bones and she was honored to read it aloud for her friend, Brian, at his son’s service…total Sabbath.
And singing the last verse of A Mighty Fortress for the millionth time – and also the very first time – was breathtakingly Sabbath.
Hoardes of devils took Brian’s child and my spouse. Life has been wrenched away. And also, the Kingdom’s ours forever. Sabbath.
And the holy fellowship around food and pictures of Aaron after worship? Sabbath.
And hugging the necks of seminary friends – and professors who are now my friends? Sabbath.
And meeting in the flesh some beloved ones I have only met through Facebook? Sabbath.
When it was time to leave the church, I parked downtown and walked a few blocks in the perfect afternoon sun to a lovely restaurant for a perfect crab-y lunch of she crab soup and a crab cake salad. Good food enjoyed in no hurry at all is always Sabbath.
After lunch, I went to one of my favorite places in the whole wide world: Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. I parked my car and walked a bit down a sidewalk…and felt my heart quicken.
That’s just how it is on that campus. I was always grateful for every minute Ken and the kids afforded me there. I would sometimes sit down on the stairs as I was moving from one class to another…and just sit there for a minute, focusing on the gift I was receiving by being in seminary. Returning to that campus always feels like Sabbath.
I stopped by and sang a bit with Luther. He rolled his eyes because he thinks selfies are ridiculous, but he played along while I sang, anyway:
Then, I headed on past Luther…
Then, I spent a little time on (in?) the prayer labyrinth. I’m terrible at it, actually. I think you are supposed to get lost in there, lose track of time, clear your mind…or focus your mind. I start out praying about something – and the next thing I know I’m wondering if I remembered to cancel that appointment or mail that letter or whatever. So, I have to refocus over and over.
So, I brought the worship booklet from the service and prayed the names on it as I walked. When I got distracted, I simply looked at the card with the names of the people in Aaron’s family and prayed the next name I saw. I don’t really feel like I do labyrinth prayer right. I usually wonder if it would be better if I just sat on the bench next to it instead. But, I believe in God’s grace and Spirit’s breath, and I trust that I’m shaped a bit by the walking and thinking and forgetting and remembering and getting distracted and refocusing. I also trust in its Sabbath-ness.
Then, I drove home.
On the way, I chatted with Ann for a while, then my mom. Sabbath and Sabbath.
Then, I did some dreaming about what God might have in store for me. Our bishop has asked us to have holy imagination about Spirit’s call on our lives, so I spent more than an hour imagining and dreaming. And stopped in traffic behind an accident on 85North. Even in traffic, it felt like Sabbath to intentionally dream.
Then, I came home to my stellar daughter and ridiculous dogs to eat good food and write a blog post.
Even with rising before dawn and 5+ hours in the car, I’m chalking this day up to Sabbath.