Today I have practiced Sabbath: my time to stop, to cease, to allow the voice of God to define me — not any others. I keep Sabbath according to creation from sundown to sundown every seventh day, but more on that in another post.
This Sabbath included an early morning at the Nashville National Cemetery. I’m not the most patriotic type and would prefer we didn’t expend dollars and lives on the things of war, but I promised I’d join with our church choir for this community performance. And I do love to sing.
I learned today that inspiration can sneak up on you when you least expect it. I never would have imagined how easily tears would come to my eyes and how my arms would get all goose-bumped during such a ceremony. It started halfway through our first song (“God Bless America” — though I pray God blesses all other lands as well; but I really did feel a sense today that this is the land that I love). Later when we sang a tribute to each branch of the armed forces, those who have served came forward to stand right next to us. I was the soprano at the end of the line so an Army veteran came to stand next to me. His left elbow brushed up against my right elbow while we sang. After the song, it took a while for me to collect myself enough to turn to him to extend a hand of gratitude. All I could muster as I looked him in the eye was the simple phrase: “Thank you.” I guess it was something about their willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of others — or maybe be drafted, but go anyway. My maternal grandfather served, though he never saw a frontline. I learned today that while I may not always like the decisions of our country’s leaders, I am inspired by the courage and generosity of our country’s men and women.
Sabbath proved to be a time of creativity, rest, and unexpected inspiration! Thank you to all who willingly serve.