Sabbath Song and Shade

Image of Redbud tree leaves in prayer garden of First Baptist Church, Richmond, Texas. 

The clearing rests in song and shade.

It is a creature made

By old light held in soil and leaf,

By human joy and grief,

By human work,

Fidelity of sight and stroke,

By rain, by water on

The parent stone.

We join our work to Heaven’s gift,

Our hope to what is left,

That field and woods at last agree

In an economy

Of widest worth.

High Heaven’s Kingdom come on earth.

Imagine Paradise.

O Dust, arise!

~Wendell Berry, Sabbath Poem VII (1982)

Sabbath Moment

Sabbath is not just important to me. It is essential. I participate in Sabbath/Sundays, gathering with others to worship, being with family around the table, and setting times to rest at the beginning of the week. I have learned that I also need what I call Sabbath moments every day, part of my morning and evening rituals, but also those unexpected gifts of quiet awareness that come upon me and gift me me with deep peace.

“The room is quiet. You’re not feeling tired enough to sleep or energetic enough to go out. For the moment there is nowhere else you’d rather go, no one else you’d rather be. You feel at home in your body. You feel at peace in your mind. For no particular reason, you let the palms of your hands come together and close your eyes. Sometimes it is only when you happen to taste a crumb of it that you dimly realize what it is that you’re so hungry for you can hardly bear it. –Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC