Abundance

What does abundance look like to you?

A friend posted the question on Instagram over a picture of gold wrapped Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Abundance.

The light in this new house hits differently. And so, I have found myself struck by ordinary things lit up by Pennsylvania sunbeams and made beautiful.

A feather that went through the wash.

LEGO figures battling on the worn tabletop.

Mushrooms and rainbows and the dog.

Abundance.

For me, in this moment, abundance looks messy.

Muddy boot smudges on the bathroom door.

Abundance should be “poured into your lap, a portion overflowing,” and yet I’ve found that abundance doesn’t always feel like enough. In fact, a lot of times abundance feels like too much.

An abundance of worry. An abundance of stress. An abundance of chirping babies to feed.

A sink full of dishes, a dryer full of clothes, a overflowing life of abundance. To he who is given much, much is expected, and I am often left feeling like things are too much and I am not enough.

Abundance is depth and breadth. It is everywhere, emptiness echoing through the spaces where I used to feel fulfilled, opportunities so abundant they scare me.

It’s easy to see abundance as too much and then the gift becomes a burden. I wonder how much abundance I view this way, how many gifts I resent.

In truth, abundance is too much. Of course it is. All is gift, after all. All is grace.

In our catechism lesson yesterday we defined grace as, “a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us, through Jesus, for our salvation.”

All the abundance, the gifts light as feathers and the heavy hard ones, all of it is grace meant to draw me to salvation. All of it exists for my good and, while I don’t particularly enjoy the struggle of scrubbing mud from doors, or spilled detergent from floors, or sin from my heart, I know that the abundance is an invitation to draw closer to the giver of all good things.

One look at my phone shows me abundance, friends I haven’t seen for years reaching out, sharing life across the chasm of the internet, huddling together in text threads to celebrate and mourn abundance.

Babies born, divorces, new jobs, good hair days, funny memes, pep talks and ass kickings. Abundance.

Perhaps I have found myself drowning in abundance over the last years, months, weeks, but I haven’t carried it alone. The grace upon grace is that my abundance might bury me, but I’m given an abundance of friends to shoulder it with me.

I can’t say for sure, but I think I’m feeling my heart shifting, settling into the newness of life after a move, viewing the overwhelming abundance of change through the lens of gift and not burden, or at least seeing it as good medicine that will make me better even though it’s hard to swallow.

What does abundance look like for you these days? Does it feel more like gift or burden? Both are valid, both are allowed. Mister Rogers said you can feel your feelings, after all. Perhaps the bigger takeaway for me is that, as with most things, abundance is both/and. The beautiful is sometimes wounding and the hard is often holy and a willingness to be broken and grow is the best way forward.

Here’s to a life of abundance and the grace to take none of it for granted.

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