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Baruch atah, Adonai, hamavdil bayn kodesh lechol 

This week, the load was particularly heavy.  There had been the fraught moment Sunday night with María, when the enormity of the decisions we’ve had to make about her place in our home oppressed so hard I almost could not bear it.  Len, my wonderful, charming, extraordinarily witty friend came for a visit and then left, early Monday morning.  When Len lived in Fort Lauderdale, I adored the tartness of his observations, his knack for rooting out pretension and bad taste.  We kept each other company in what we both often experienced as the  aesthetic wasteland of Southeast Florida.  There were many other ways in which we each brought relief from loneliness to the other.  Letting him out of the car while it was still dark on Monday morning was hard and I came home just in time to say goodbye to Sherod next.

The rest of the week was not unusual as far as weeks in ministry go.  There were a couple of pastoral crises, unexpected and quite wrenching.  I learned a new expression I wish I hadn’t had to learn: “roofie rape”.  I officiated at a funeral for someone I’d never met.  I tried to intervene as best I could in an email back-and-forth that reflected all the stress and strain that All Saints is experiencing in this time of transition.  On Wednesday, I had to look some really low enrollment numbers at the preschool straight in the face, enrollment numbers that have all kinds of implications for an already fragile system. It meant back to crunching numbers, back to the adrenaline rush because there’s so much on the line and I have to do my best to get it right when I come up with Plan B.

A low low came when I stood in line at Walmart with 48 backpacks and school supplies that filled 2 carts to the brim. This is actually great—the kids who participated in the summer reading camp are all getting blessed backpacks tomorrow.  But I don’t do Walmart well.  The only thing that kept me from tearing my skin off was an amusing email about ‘military-ese’—did you know that when an admiral is really, but really, P.O’d with you if you are in the Navy, he or she signs off “Warmest Possible Personal Regards”?  You’d think they’d be more direct like, “I am f&^%ng mad”—it is a bunch of sailors, after all.  But no.  Utter politeness. I guess that’s more harrowing.  At any rate, I don’t do Walmart well, no matter how good the cause and no matter how amusing the email.

Knocking around the house by myself all week, when the time felt like it was both mine to do with as I wished, and yet spoken for and weighed down by the responsibilities and fractured fishbowl I carry these days, I have been this weird combination of lonely and thankful for my solitude.  I have also been incredibly aware that my time is taken up with so much to do.  Finally, at about 10:30 this morning, I realized I was just about done with the duties of the week.  I’d been at church, pruning bougainvillea and other bushes at the entrance of the church and was finished.

Even though I was guilty that I’d left my girl dogs all locked up at home, I had my bathing suit on beneath my clothes.  Len gave me what he has correctly called a very “vulgar green” beach chair and umbrella and that was in the trunk of my car. I had a backpack with a towel and a trashy novel with me too (no, it was not Fifty Shades of Grey).  So I went to the beach.  I set myself all up and sat and read my silly little book with happily ever afters and stopped often to cool down in the beautiful water off Fort Lauderdale Beach, and also sipped a nice iced, soy, grande,  1 Splenda Latte.  I’m home now and I think it’s time for a nap.  It struck me.  This is Sabbath.

Baruch atah, Adonai, hamavdil bayn kodesh lechol

(Blessed are You Adonai, who separates between the holy and the profane)

2 thoughts on “Shabbat

  1. Hey there friend, a better sabbath then my own, ugly chair included.
    You did have a harrowing week, still puzzled over “roofie rape”, not sure I want to know.
    I miss you, plod on grinning as you do, love ,

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