Reub's journey

05 April 2009

Sunday worship

We used to live in the Bible Belt of America. We were often asked what church we attended, and the answer went something like this: "Well, we are not members of a church here in town, even though we both grew up in church-going families. But that doesn't mean we aren't religious. On Sundays we take all three kids and the dog, and we go out of town somewhere for a long walk in the woods. For us, that is worship..." It was true, and people respected it. A devout Southern Baptist friend even asked if her family cold join us. But usually we were alone, a family together on a Sunday morning, surrounded by the natural world.

Today, a gloriously sunny spring day in Oregon, we went on one of those Sunday worship sessions. We aren't in Alabama any more, and no kids these days, but of course the dogs still figure in. And today, John and I both had cameras. Taking a camera changed the walk a little; it seemed more like a walk in an art museum.

Moss-covered limbs looked like amazing sculptures.

Red leaves against a green backdrop whispered "Look at us... we are complementary colors..."

Upturned tree roots punctuated by rocks and small plants added "...and look at our beautiful rich monochromatic color scheme.."

Is a walk in an art museum so very different from time in a church? And aren't they both a part of a few hours in the woods on a splendid April Sunday? It seems so, at least for us.


  1. Your post reminds me of the Emily Dickinson poem... here's the first verse...

    Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
    I keep it staying at home,
    With a bobolink for a chorister,
    And an orchard for a dome.

  2. You're right on! I had completely forgotten about that little poem, but looked it up just now. Last two lines:

    So instead of getting to Heaven, at last --
    I'm going, all along.

  3. Hi Mom!

    I always loved our Sundays.

  4. Another surprise visit from Jessica! When you next read this I guess you will be in Niamey, Niger, working for the fistula docs. That will be very intense, and I hope you will be able to take some time for yourself. I know there is no woods for you to walk in, but perhaps just some quiet time will do.


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