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Sabbath Day Interruptions

December 18, 2016

I had a simple but surprising Sabbath day this week. Temperatures were below freezing, and I was tired, so I decided against hiking and in favor or reading. I have been working on Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Charles Marsh. Reading of Bonhoeffer’s theological resistance to the rise of fascism in his country has been a companion to my reading of the daily news. I grabbed my book and headed down to a local coffee shop to read but ended up having a 90 minute conversation with a homeless neighbor seeking warmth and companionship. No reading, but a good use of my time. It is not often I have absolutely nothing else to do and can lend my ear to a stranger.

I walked home for lunch, ice cream and peanut butter, and then headed out to try reading again with a different book. This time I managed to read a few pages before the woman next to me leaned over and asked, “Are you reading John Caputo?” I was. “Is that The Insistence of God?” Again, it was. (What are the chances of that, really?!?) Turns out she had heard Jack lecture a few years ago while visiting her son at university. She picked up the book and was engaged by Jack’s theology of ‘perhaps.’ We fell to conversation – another 90 minutes – ranging from mental health to church to the fear we are living through. No reading, but rich conversation. My day of surprises turning out better than the day I had planned.


Late afternoon found August and I at Greenburgh Nature Center caring for the sheep and goats (and chickens, turkey and pheasant) and taking a short walk in the woods. Home for dinner – and then the surprise. With all his homework done, I revealed two tickets for the premier of Rogue One, the new installment of the Star Wars saga. The theater is on the next block, so five minutes later we were equipping ourselves with popcorn and water for a two hour roller coaster of nostalgia, plot twists, and the unexpected. If you have not seen it yet, go now! Several days later the movie continues to grow on me and give me much to think about (Star Wars has always been political). I will reveal nothing here about the movie – only that August and I had a marvelous father-son evening together.

Nothing profound to round out this Sabbath post, other than an affirmation of my long held conviction that life is lived in the interruptions and the unexpected. Thanks be to God, the most unexpected of all.



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