What Lucy Did on the Sabbath

One of my favorite literary characters is Lucy Honeychurch from “A Room with a View” by E.M. Forster. I recently noticed this quote from the book about how Lucy handled Sundays:


“Lucy’s Sabbath was generally of this amphibious nature. She kept it without hypocrisy in the morning, and broke it without reluctance in the afternoon.”


Amen, sister. Just one more way that I am like you! Personally, I have about a four-hour limit to my ability to be spiritual for any length of time. By the afternoon, the kids are bored and I have errands to run or clothes to wash, and it gets extremely difficult to maintain any sort of Sabbath observance, without a community doing it with me. If I was assigned to sleep all afternoon, well, I think I could manage that, but no more.


In the book, Lucy’s “amphibious” Sabbath involves playing tennis to appease her brother and his guest, her true love. As a result of what happens during the tennis game, she will end up lying to George, Cecil, Mr. Beebe, Mrs. Honeychurch, Freddy, the servants, and Mr. Emerson.


Sometimes we major in the minors. Which is the greater sin–playing tennis at an inauspicious time or lying to everyone you know? It is far easier to abstain than to be truthful.


This is why, forever and to the end, Lucy will be my heroine. She’s so charmingly flawed!