I am writing 31 fighting scarcity. I will be collecting them all at the starting point. I hope you join me this month.
I didn’t think I was the artist today at church. I don’t quite know what happened, but I had enough of an inkling that it still might be my turn to tuck my crochet hook into my purse and bring along a pair of scissors. (I am becoming one of those weird crafters with accidental weapons constantly in her purse.) But I thought I was done because I had run otu of fabric. I had been asking for donations of old t-shirts and stained sheets. I had been working them together to form something new as my pastors spoke about water into wine and healing of the dead. The miracles of the gospel of John. Today was loaves and fishes.
And the artists (mostly me) had about as much fabric as Jesus had food. That is to say, none. We had none. But one of the women brought me a sheet that had been in the donation bin for the community closet. It was a deep grey, like the sky has been for the past two weeks. It provided a perfect frame for the scattered colors in the works of the week before, and much like the passage being preached upon, after we were finished there was enough left over for me to cut strips for my next rug. There was enough, there was an abundance.
Near the end of the sermon, an interpretation of this miracle I had never heard before was mentioned. That while traditionally this passage is seen as a miracle, that Jesus created an abundance from a small offering, others say that the humble offering this boy gave inspired everyone else in the crowd to empty their pockets as well, and the food that appeared was just what was available when everyone shared and shared alike.
Normally I don’t go in for the explanations of coincedence to explain away miracles, but I am somehow attracted to this version. I like the idea that the abundance is available, ready and waiting to be inspired.
At the end of the service someone dropped a bag of fabric next to me, and in the back I found another bag of t-shirts that were intended for me (don’t worry, they are going to good use). I maybe would have seen them earlier but instead I found what I was looking for. Nothing.
When we train our eyes to look for the things we are sure we need, we limit our sight. When everyone is sure there is not enough, the abundance of generosity is impossible. But when we trust in abundance our eyes are open to all the ways we are already being provided for, our eyes are open to all the possibilities and our hearts are open to more giving.
Scarcity says: I will take and keep what is MINE because I need it.
Abundance says: This is enough, I have enough to share.
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Whichever way the miracle is interpreted, Jesus created a miracle. Changing hearts to share is clearly a miracle. One that I have experienced myself. One that continues to be needed.