Two friends join me for this weekend away, this girlfriend time that also counts as my sabbatical from ministry.
No flipping on the TV, no computer screen bleeping messages from cyberspace. Just my friends, God and me.
Birds sing morning allelujahs and I wait for something – that cacophony of sound that usually assaults me when I open my eyes.
But here in this quiet place, I do not hear it and feel blessed by its absence.
Traffic. The roar of engines and the hurry-to-work-revving is not present in this place.
I discover the secret solace of Yoder, Kansas. Amish buggies move silently except for the clopping of horses’ hooves on the pavement – a subtle sound that speaks of contented life without the scurry of automation.
And I am reminded of my own personal mantra that I share in speaking venues – when life unravels, take a break.
My soul, so grieved with the hurts I hear and see each day – needs this respite. My family is thick into the caregiving of our mother who struggles through Alzheimer’s. I need this time away.
Although brief, it is like a gulp of air to a woman who is drowning in the cares of life. The reminder that life is to be lived, and I have a purpose. Yet I do not need in this quiet place to even think on that purpose or to meet the needs of anyone besides myself.
And that is okay. It is not selfish to take time for self-care.
So I listen blissfully to the stereo of Yoder sounds: the trill of the birds and the mew of a kitten, the bellow of a cow begging to be milked and in the distance – the putt-putt of a tractor on its way to the fields.
Sounds of contented life in Amish country. Sounds I miss in the city life I lead. Sounds I need to hear on this sabbatical weekend.
Should God allow my timeline to continue, He will enable and equip me to meet others’ needs again. He will pour through me the abundance of His Spirit.
But for now, he bids me rest.
He whispers to me in this early morning hour from Psalm 54:4, “God is my helper, the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
Uphold me even today, Lord. Cup your hands around my face and pour into me your healing spirit. Bless me too, my Father, with your love in this quiet place.