Snowily Slow Sabbath

Credit: James Mann on Flickr via Creative Commons

Credit: James Mann on Flickr via Creative Commons

 

Today was set to be crazy busy.

I’d start with an hour of cleaning the pounds of snow off my little car, scraping and brushing and heating until she was drivable. That part actually happened.

Then off to church to teach a Sunday school class, which I had forgotten all about and therefore bailed on last-minute. The cloning necessitated by obligations to serve communion in the worship service while somehow simultaneously praying with people during communion was rectified by a super small turnout thanks to the snow and the pastor being free to fill in serving for me. So I was able to retreat for a few moments into his office, wait, and pray a shot-gun prayer with him before moving on in the service.

Our guest preacher launched into the sermon, to which I would normally be mostly attentive because of all the other things that have been on my mind. But the intimate feel of the service, the conversational tone of the message, and the connection I felt during worship prepared my heart to be particularly squishy. So I let the emotion surface, cried and accepted the balm of the words being spoken. All the hurt and confusion floated up and were met by an outpouring of grace and acceptance and radical love only Jesus knows how to extend.

I was set to speed out of service as soon as it was over to get to a lunch meeting with a couple of fabulous writer friends, but they were both snowed in. So I lingered in the hallways, pouring my little heart out to two of the most intently supportive people I’ve ever known. Their steady eye contact, measured responses, and general kindness continued the flow of peace coating over the raw places.

One World, one of my top three favorite places in Peoria which is usually packed to the beams on Sundays, was sure to be more accessible than usual so I met up with some friends there. Years ago I lived a block up from the restaurant, and when the snow was really bad me and my roommate would trudge up the road on foot to find respite from cabin fever over tomato melts and the flavor of the day. So being there in a mini-blizzard felt almost nostalgic. Connecting with old friends and a brand new one was done slowly, no one rushing to the next thing, talking about our plans to cozy up at home once we left and binge on our respective Netflix addictions.

While I loathe driving in the ice, driving in this kind of crunchy snow can almost be fun. I actually enjoyed the leisurely trek back to my loft. Evening yoga class and social justice meeting both canceled, I had the night ahead of me free and clear. After spending some time catching up on obligations I let slip through most of December, and then overtly ignored over the past week as I licked some wounds, I’ve settled into some soul-nourishing writing. A beer in my hand, friends chatting online, and beautiful music lilting through the apartment as I stare at the white expanse that is usually my parking lot, I feel a little bit at peace. A little bit more whole. A little bit like God has come near, in all the canceled plans and snow-white stillness, and has spoken His invitation to rest deep into my spirit. May we all hear that call more often, and find the courage to respond.

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Gabrielle said,

    January 6, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I am glad to have been part of the cancellations that gave you a true day of rest. As I sit here, at home and not at work, I think of how God often chooses to hide His kindnesses behind events like icy roads, bitter temperatures and cancellations. I’m glad you enjoyed your Sabbath, my friend. May there be many more times of rest and refreshment in your year.

    • MandyK said,

      January 6, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Yeah I think in general behind every bitter or disappointing experience we might find a kindness of God. If we can develop eyes to see it. I hope you have a great surprise day off!

  2. Eric M. said,

    January 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    This is good to hear, I hope my haranguing didn’t stress you out.

    • MandyK said,

      January 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Ha nope. My own slackerdom has been stressing me out, but I think I’m finally catching up 🙂


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