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Friday, March 09, 2007
Sabbath Swimming
Marva Dawn writes in her book on Sabbath Keeping:

“Sabbath resting is a foretaste of eternal life. . . For that reason part of our Sabbath celebration is a prayer that we might someday come to the fulfillment of the Sabbath. . . . When we live for our Sabbaths, when they are the climax of our weeks, we know a healthy anticipation of the ultimate rest, the time when Jesus will come to take us home.”

I've been thinking a lot about Sabbath in the midst of Lent. Here's my latest poem. As I read the quote above it captures the idea I am getting at. I share the poetry with you as an encouragement.

sitting next to a
cool pond
on a hot day
imagining the refreshment
yielding immersion
feels like hope;
though it is not.

Now, to get into the pond
another thing entirely
experiencing the Water;
though you must get out
you remember it forever.
and in the realer sense, you,
can never leave it again

and while you may dwell in a
the water has become your reality

The meaning of hope
swims in Sabbath

The poem comes from my remembering of a story my Pepaw liked to tell about his childhood. He grew up in a time of legalistic Sabbath keeping. "We used to go down to the swimming hole on Sundays and watch the other kids swim. Mama wouldn't let us get in because it was the Lord's Day. One day the local doctor was down at the pond and saw me standing on the doc watching the rest of the kids having such a good time in the water. All of a sudden, he pushed me in. Then he said, 'Lee, you have fun swimming now while your clothes dry out.'

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posted by John David Walt | at 3/09/2007 08:44:00 PM



Anonymous j morgan said...

I just read a great book on sabbath by a student of wendell berry's, Norman Wirzba, you should check it out if you get the chance, it's entitled Living the Sabbath

6:23 PM EST  
Blogger Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff said...

Hey there John Deere! I love seeing your blog--and wanted you to know that I've just set one up--our publishers had us do it for our new book. So, I looked to yours a lot as a model--it's great!! Now we're blogging buddies!! I hope you and your family are doing well. Tell T I said hi.
Have a great day!

9:26 AM EDT  
Blogger shannon said...

what a sweet memory of you Pepaw love to all- shannon

By the way, you have a totally gorgeous wife

10:09 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like to think this poem also comes from a chat about sabbath with a friend next to a pond at Gethsemane ;-)

2:51 AM EDT  

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