More Sabbath than I’d Intended

Dearest Rachel –

Considering I’ve been silent since the first thing this morning, you would think that nothing happened all day. And to a certain extent, you wouldn’t be that far wrong. At the same time, there’s a sort of thought that’s what we’ve been asked to do, to take some time and rest. That was the whole point of the Sabbath, after all.

Not that the day hasn’t been productive at all, mind you. After this morning’s study, I actually went out and got another thing crossed off the Christmas shopping list, as well as getting a battery for the car. Unfortunately, I found out that Costco hasn’t been installing them for the past eleven years, so I called to make an appointment with our mechanics; hopefully, they won’t object my buying a battery from Costco separately. Still, it’s a job well begun, which you’d consider half done – although it might explain a lot ‘half-done’ work around our house and home.

I even managed to stop on my way home, and get breakfast for both Daniel and myself. What I didn’t count on, was the fact that evidently, when I heard Daniel knocking about way earlier this morning, he was probably just realizing how late he had stayed up, and was just preparing himself for bed, even as I was debating whether or not to get up so early in the morning. I got home to find him asleep, and he stayed asleep until sometime around one in the afternoon. Now, to be sure, he’s still recovering from his illness, so I’m more than willing to cut him as much slack as he needs. Sleep is, after all, in its own way, a welcome and necessary tonic to what ails one, and far be it from me to keep it from him. But it did leave me sitting around for a considerable length of time, waiting for him to wake up.

Once he did, I was at least able to give him his smoothie (he’s always most grateful when presented with things he wants and likes that he didn’t ask for, which is why I’m so happy to get them for him; I wish I could’ve done it more often for you, but you were rarely much for surprises like that – that, and you usually preferred to travel with me, indicating things that you wanted when you saw them), and we basically spent the rest of the afternoon and evening watching videos together, in companionable stillness – not quite silence as such, as we would laugh and comment to each other from time to time – that was such a common atmosphere from days gone by. Really, all that was missing was you.

Which is, I suppose, why I’m writing you about it. Today wasn’t an important day. We didn’t get much done, apart from the few errands that I managed to run in the morning. We just sat there, together, and…were.

In those first days, when Moses (under God’s direction) led the children of Israel out of Egypt and on to Mount Sinai, one of the first instructions he brought down from the mountain was God’s instruction to remember the sabbath and keep it holy. Now, we tend to interpret that as setting a day aside to commune with Him in His house, and of course, that’s of great importance, no doubt. Certainly we’re instructed to meet together – an instruction that has taken on a certain added significance in the current era of pandemic and social distancing, as we began to realize how much we were missing out on by not physically doing so on a regular basis.

But there was also the importance of taking the time to rest. For whatever reason, in his infinite wisdom, God decided to make us so that we needed rest on a regular basis. And while we’re considerably more sedentary creatures than we used to be (your journal entries reflect a certain regret about certain things that take a back seat to leisure activities), we don’t necessarily rest as much as all that. We keep our minds active almost constantly, perhaps in an effort to distract ourselves from… whatever. We are rarely truly ‘at rest.’

Even during that quarantine period I suffered through, I kept myself busy; why else do you think I was writing you so often? Was there anything truly interesting happening on those days? That’s a rhetorical question, and you should know that; there was nothing happening in that room, and I couldn’t see much going on outside, either. For all that I talked about being still, I didn’t have that down even then.

Today, we were pretty much still. Admittedly, not so much in an effort to ‘know that [He is] God,’ but just… being still. It’s a necessary part of life, and well I had no intention of turning this Saturday into one of such inactivity, I think it did us both a fair amount of good. Daniel seems to be improving all the more, to the point where I think he feels well enough to actually show up tomorrow morning. Granted, which service we go to kind of depends on when he decides to go to sleep – and therefore (more to the point), when he wakes up – but that at least is a step in the proper direction. The only questionable thing is whether or not he is truly antigen free, as there is no opportunity for him to get tested between now and then (nor is he likely to be wanting and willing to do so at this point). It may just be something for us to take on faith in the morning, whenever he wakes up. At least he still tends to stay in his corner of the sanctuary, and away from everybody else, in a certain form of continued social distancing.

Anyway, I’ll do what I can to keep you up with what and how things go. Until then, keep an eye out for us, and wish us luck, honey. I think we’ll still need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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