Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sunday and Salt

Sitting here, listening to Andy Osenga's acoustic version of a new song Early in the Morning, I can't help but think of the Sabbath. This moment marks the end of another Sunday. Andy's song is based on the form of Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven. The novel is a group of stories about people living in a small secluded valley in California. It brings me to think of the beauty and community and completeness of the Sabbath that is to come. It makes these days feel so broken in comparison and wells up a longing in me that is bittersweet. It frightens me a bit that I might get so accustomed to that yearning that I would choose it over a true wholeness, but I don't suppose that will be possible at the advent of Glory. And still, I struggle.

I find that I have so much trouble with the Sabbath. I tend to like weekdays better. I feel more able to be prayerful on those days. I feel like it's easier to know God's presence in my daily life. On Sundays, I feel crappy usually. This might sound stupid, but I think my face actually gets that oily I-need-a-shower-NOW feeling quicker on Sunday. We always eat a big meal at my parents' house and I want to take a nap. I usually gain a couple hard-lost pounds on Sunday that linger in the shadows of my belly button when the next weekend rolls around. I get a headache that stems from allergies when I snooze at my parents' house. All this adds up to make Sunday anything but the most pleasant day of the week. And this bothers me. I could blame it on my allergies or on the fact that I have to get up early to go play bass or on the communication difficulties in my family, but all this is merely trivia. I want very badly to enjoy this day and be filled with the presence of God on it more than any other day like I feel that I should. Yes, "to another man, every day is the same." But to be in the presence of God's people should not be a burden. That reveals something evil in my heart, something that I desperately want lifted away.

My dog constantly licks my hands when I'm here. I've wondered why she's begun to be addicted to the taste of my fingers. She's never done this before these past few months. She is now old, deaf, and mostly blind, but still retains the vitality of a dog half her age. I can only credit this to the love that is alive within the walls of my family's house. She's been around since I was eight, so that makes her....old. Fourteen, I guess. I don't know if you know this, but there's something very soothing about having a dog lick your hands (unless you're my wife, who reacts somewhat like Lucy Van Pelt). I've allowed myself the deluded thought that it's because she really loves me that much, and it's kind of like grasping hands with a close friend. But it's probably just because my skin tastes like salt.


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