Sabbath 3: Returning

Sightings: A young girl returning home across her yard, her head bowed over a book she was reading; people in Cambridge, MD, returning for more crab soup, bratwurst and sauerkraut, and Octoberfest beer; two eagles turning and returning over the salt marsh, my dog Winnie’s bumped up nose after slamming into the screen door she didn’t see while returning up the trailer steps.

Learning by heart: Isaiah 30:15 “In returning and rest you shall be saved (healed)…”

Rick and I returned to the Maryland eastern shore for the day since the place we wanted to explore was only two hours from our campsite. We ate crab soup and drank pumpkin ale accompanied by Bavarian music, checked out a possible campground for the future (it flunked the test), and stretched our legs at Blackwater Wildlife Management Area where we saw the eagles.

On the quiet drive back to camp, I had plenty of time to think about “returning.” You can return to a task after taking a break or after being interrupted. You can return something borrowed, like a library book. You can return to a place after a long time and find that everything has changed, that you have changed too. I suppose a potter re-turns a pot that isn’t quite the right shape…well, maybe a potter re-throws. And sometimes you return to a relationship that has been broken.

So how would you describe returning to God? Maybe this is how Luther would do it. He talks about how sin is a turning in upon oneself; in that case, returning to God would be more like an uncurling, a straightening up and looking at the world and at God instead of oneself.

But today I am keeping it simple. I am returning, but returning to the simple practice of learning scripture by heart. Just verses here and there though, not the whole gospel of John like before. And as you may have guessed, I am starting with a few from Isaiah 30.