Thinking about Abundance

We’ve talked some about Forgiveness already this year, because of the Jewish New Year. It’s also one of our themes for November, along with Abundance. Abundance is a lot broader topic. We could take it a lot of directions, and we will over the course of the month, including, of course what an abundance of forgiveness might look like.

But in the meantime, I’m struck by the words of comedian Steven Wright, famous for his earnest, deadpan delivery, who said: “I have the world’s largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on the beaches of the world. Have you seen it?”

Two years ago, we had three-plus feet of snow in Maryland. We never get that kind of snow. I actually had to use my snowshoes just to walk to the next door neighbor’s house. Later that night, we tramped back from their house to ours. We took the long way around. We were snowed in, and there was no rush to do anything. It was late and our porch lights were on; a few lights inside the house glowed warm and bright. I looked at the house, surrounded by deep billows of pristine snow, bright and dark under the clear, black, starry sky. It took my breath away. It was the most beautiful, peaceful, irresistible I had ever seen our home. We stopped and stared at this astonishing fresh beauty, our home in deep snow in the deep night.

I find myself thinking about all the ways we have abundance and can or cannot see it. Abundant love in our lives from family or friends. Abundant comfort if we are warm and safe. Even abundance in the form of silver linings: abundant opportunity for change if we find ourselves unhappy or frustrated. Abundant things to mourn. Abundant imperatives we have to attend to. Abundant moments when we can try something new or different. Abundant possibilities for taking a risk. Abundant ways we can reach out to one another. Abundant ways we may take care of ourselves or others when fragile or uncertain.

Abundance shows itself to us in such surprising ways, especially when we try on a new lens, maybe a Steven Wright lens, maybe the lens of a new season or strange hour. Maybe we can use this month to consider abundance in a different way. Let’s keep an eye out together for the varied forms abundance takes in our lives. There are lessons for us in what we perceive, changes we might make, treasures we may discover, when we look.

See you in church,

Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay, Minister
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday