Desert Day 34: Holy Absence …

But there is this too. Respite. Rest. Letting the desert be the desert, without feeling compelled to bulldoze our way through it.

I think of a long stretch when I found myself in a soul struggle that had caught me entirely by surprise. Consumed by the wrestling and working and searching, I felt exhausted. After a time, my spiritual director, Maru, gave me this phrase: holy absence.

There are times, she said, sometimes seasons, for removing ourselves from the struggle. Time for sabbath. Time for rest.


Even in the desert,
even in the wilderness,
sabbath comes.
May you keep it.
Light the candles,
say the prayers:
Welcome, sabbath.
Welcome, rest.
Enter in
and be our guest.
— Jan Richardson from In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer


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