I decided to take Saturday off this week. I had a pile of work neatly listed, and not yet crossed off, in my assignment notebook, but there was something a bit more urgent ... spending some time alone, and spending some time with my dear friend, Carol.
Carol's niece's husband shot himself on Wednesday. One bullet in the chest. I can't tell you how incredibly sad this made me. Matt was a kind man with two children, ages 9 and 11. The last time I saw him was about 10 years ago. They lived about 120 miles or so north of here. There was a period in my life when I spent a great deal of time in that area with this family, who 'adopted' me as one of their own. I was with Carol and her sister and brothers during the most difficult time in their lives -- the sudden and unexpected death of their mother, followed just 22 days later by the death of their dad. I was there for both funerals. I was there, by his side, when their father took his last breaths. It was an experience I will never forget and one I was somehow honored to share in.
The years passed, life got busy and we simply stopped getting together. After the news of Matt's death, I found myself deeply regretting that fact. So, shoving work aside, I drove 2 hours north and spent the afternoon with Carol in a town 45 minutes south of her home. It was wonderful. For me, the knowledge that I am loved so deeply by this family, humbles me. And it refreshes my spirit. They consider me one of their own.
Have you ever experienced that? 'Adoption' into a family that is not your own? There is something so incredible about being invited in by a family, rather than simply being born into one.
Carol and I reminisced about that awful March 11 years ago when she lost both of her parents. Sometimes, there is comfort in the retelling of those stories. We both got teary-eyed, but neither of us broke down, so that showed progress. We caught up on each other's lives. And we laughed. For me, work was so far off the radar for this one wonderful day, that it truly was restful.
There was another reason I opted to make a 4 hour roundtrip drive on Saturday ... for the sheer solitude of it. The drive up Route 28 was beautiful. I made a couple of stops along the way and shared the story of my blog with some interested people who noticed the sign on my car door.
"Green Grandma?" the gentlemen asked. "What's Green Grandma?"
By the time I was done with my pitch about cloth diapers, non-GMOs and recycling, I had some new fans. At least, I hope I did. Since this was a flea-markety kind of shop, I ended up coming home with some good bargains. A couple of Christmas presents and a lovely painting that is now hanging above my desk. It will serve as a reminder that sometimes, closing the laptop and choosing a different course for the day is exactly what God wants of me.
And so that, my friends, was my Sabbath Experience for this week. God ministered to me in an unexpected journey, some much needed alone time and in the hug of a friend. When we give God the chance to bless us with a day of rest, He's not one to pass up the opportunity.
Sharing my Sabbath experience,