Dear Sabbath Seekers,
I spent most of this last week at the hospital. My husband had some back surgery and so I was back and forth a number of times during his 3 day stay. Each time I entered the very busy lobby I was struck by the variety of people there. Obviously, there were the ‘information’ people and the ‘badge wearers’ whether doctors, nurses, administrators or staff. There were the security people watching the people and the doors very closely. There were visitors wearing their bright blue stickers making sure everyone knew they were probably lost or looking for something or someone. And there were the patients.
Again, it was quite obvious who the patients were by their designer gowns, IV poles or wheelchairs. Some were old, some were middle-aged, some in the prime of their life, some were teens and some were very young children. But without the gowns, IV poles and wheelchairs I sensed I would have known who they were by the look in their eyes.
I’m not quite sure how to describe the look – it was almost as if their eyes were not reflecting back the world they were seeing. Their eyes had an inward focus as if they were seeing but only interpreting through their particular situation. And I’m not sure that does the look justice. It wasn’t self-centered or arrogant. Many people only see the world through how it affects them. It wasn’t a ‘pay attention to me’ look. And it certainly wasn’t a ‘pity me’ look.
The look in their eyes said I’m using all my energy to still my mind, steady my body and steer clear of this disease. Their eyes said to me “at the moment I need to pay attention to my life and its meaning. I am seeing things from a different perspective.” And in that seeing is an urgency that only comes when life hangs in the balance.
Whether they were people of faith, I do not know; but I do know that when people of faith take time to Sabbath, they see things differently.
Sabbath is about paying attention to your life and its meaning. Sabbath is about seeing things from a different perspective. Sabbath is about stopping and withdrawing from the normal routine of things much as a hospital patient has to do. Sabbath is about seeing the bigger picture of life, of creation, of relationships and how everything fits together because of the work of the creator. Sabbath is about seeing life as the gift it is, precious and beautiful and gaining the perspective that it is fleeting and we are not in control.
Sabbath enlivens the eyes of faith, stills our minds, steadies our bodies and steers us clear of the disease of busyness and hurry. Sabbath saves our lives.
“Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see…” Luke 10.23
Blessings on your Sabbath eyes this week,