Dear Sabbath Seekers,
My granddaughter, Arianna, began Kindergarten on Monday. She was excited and had big smiles as she headed into her classroom, sat at her desk and waved for the final picture of the morning. The next morning, however, brought about a drastic change in her attitude and tears instead of smiles accompanied them to school. As they walked up to the front door, my daughter said she could see her take a deep breath, hold her head up, square her shoulders and walk with determination into the school.
When my daughter picked her up to walk home that afternoon, Arianna said “Mommy, I really needed a hug from you and wanted to cry but didn’t.” Of course, as her grandmother it broke my heart, as a parent I knew this was part of her growing up and learning how to make her way in the big world outside her front door, and as a person I could relate to this feeling. How many times could you benefit from a hug from your mom, spouse, friend, or child but they are not there to accommodate that need?
In those lonely moments when we feel as if we have no one to comfort us it is then that time with God reminds us that we are never alone. Arianna wanted her mommy’s hug because she has come to trust that her mom will be there when she needs one and that her mother will not let her down. She knows what that hug feels like and how it makes her feel safe, secure and loved. She knows that support from mom can strengthen her to try things she might not have tried without her encouragement. And she knows all this because she and Mom spend time together sharing all that life can hold.
Sabbath Moments with God does the same for us. So many people I hear from say “I wish I could get into the habit of doing what you suggest, or praying regularly or taking time apart with God, but I can’t seem to because…(add your reason here).
Sabbath Moments are more than suggestions. They are not meant to be obligations or just another thing to add to our to do list. Sabbath Moments, Sabbath keeping in general, are meant to be part of our life like breathing. Keeping Sabbath, taking time with God fills us with inspiration, just like our lungs fill our bodies with air; and it lifts us out of the low moments, the lonely moments, the fearful moments, the anxious moments, the painful moments…It gives us a body, mind and spirit memory that we are not alone, that the one who loves more than we can imagine, is with us encouraging us and walking with us all the time. And that a hug is just a prayer’s breath away.
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49.15-16
Holding you all close in my heart,