A Sabbatical Story: Part 1
I began at home with a week to catch up on yard work and spend some extra time with my family over the July 4th weekend. Jake and I explored the battlefield at Gettysburg. And lots of baseball, God having brought the Royals to DC just in time to kick off my sabbatical. Win or lose, a good time was had by all.
The second week was spent in solitude, a personal retreat in the Blue Ridge mountains, a place called Eagle Eyrie. I had a quiet cabin to myself, managed my own meals, studied in the mornings, hiked in the afternoons, took some pictures, played my guitar, and sat in a rocker on the porch and listened to the rain. A wonderful way to spend time with my Boss without talking business. Nice to enjoy His companionship without an agenda. No urgent need, no crisis of the moment, no pressing deadline, just hanging out, being with the Big Guy. The days were too short.
After a brief pitstop back home, I hit the road following the U. S. Civil Rights Trail, visiting most of the sites related to the civil rights movement from 1948 - 1968. My brother and his wife are my companions on this unique pilgrimage. So far, we have experienced the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, the inspiration of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the burning bus of Freedom Riders in Anniston, the peaceful marchers attacked with dogs and fire hoses in Birmingham, and today we walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma remembering the horrific violence of "Bloody Sunday."
Today marks the halfway point in our long journey with stops ahead in Montgomery, Jackson, Sumner, and Memphis. I'm sure I'll have more to share as we travel on. It is in some ways a difficult pilgrimage, staring at the dark side of humanity each day, the ugliness, the hatred, the cruelty, the unthinkable. Exploring the depths of human depravity is deeply troubling. And yet, the courage and determination of those who resisted peacefully and endured such brutality offer us inspiration and hope, a noble example. I have met a new band of heroes calling us all to live out our true calling in Christ.
Three weeks of sabbatical nearly completed. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Good to have you along with me. I'll check in again soon.