A Farmer’s Sabbath

Edmiston Dairy BottleI write this post from The University of Saint Mary of the Lake at the Presbytery of Chicago Clergy Retreat.  MaryAnn McKibben Dana is our guest speaker and the topic is Sabbath.  And yesterday morning, I received word that my Uncle Bill – a lifelong farmer who rarely got a Sabbath – had passed away.

Farmers’ lives are not the same as most of our lives.  Yes, there are “gentlemen farmers” and “industrial farmers” who have other people or machines bearing the brunt of their work.  But I remember that Uncle Bill had a 5:30am/5:30pm milking schedule every day of his life except for those rare times when someone else tended the dairy cows for him.  But now, in his death, he can rest.  He finally gets a true Sabbath.

Prayers today for those who get no Sabbath, not because they refuse to practice that discipline but because they tend to living things – animals or babies or the elderly  – whose needs do not wait.

Thankful especially today for my Uncle Bill.

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