"So, what is your position about working on the Sabbath?" One of my dearest lifetime friends, while he and his family were visiting from out-of-state over Memorial Day weekend, raised this question while he and I (and both our spouses) removed and replaced some rotted wood trim on the front of my house this past Sunday afternoon. This led to many questions and some discussion about the true meaning of the Sabbath. I struggled, because while I did not ask for help, it was volunteered, I did take advantage of his expertise (he is an architect by trade) to accomplish something that was years overdue and on my "must do" list this summer. Through the challenges we faced in this project, I believe that we affirmed, bonded, and strengthened our long-term relationship in ways that are difficult to explain. "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." I made the argument that "when the ox is in the ditch everyone has to turn to, even on the Sabbath." Removing rotted wood and nails, replacing it with new rough cedar, priming, measuring, sawing, caulking, remeasuring, fitting, leveling, and refitting trim, and nailing it up. Not being used to much manual labor, I was so sore the next morning it was difficult to get up. Honestly, we experienced a depth of communion in the midst of some very hard work that would not have happened if we had simply lounged around in the house watching TV. It was ultimately refreshing, renewing, and restoring - and it was work.
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