It came this week like kisses from God. Blessing poured out on crackle-dry grass and powdery dust, languishing leaves, and us. Everything sighed. Relief, delight, exuberance.
In May it came violent like curses, plowing up ground never furrowed before, washing out soil built up rich over years, weakening roadways, gouging deep traps where, before, gentle ditches drained, tame.
The difference: enough versus much–too much, too much!
I confess my struggle to live Paul’s contentment in whatever circumstances. But it’s not always lean times that tempt my heart wayward. Truly, I find contentment harder in plenty than in want. Much, too much, is too much.
And now comes in the harvest. Buckets and baskets and bags and bags, of zucchini and straight-necks and cukes and tomatoes. (Although we can definitely use those tomatoes after three years of blight…)
This year, however, the garlic is sparse. And how lovely it looks to me!
So also the onions look beautiful in my sight. I harvest a small handful at a time, because they too are scarce, and small.
…I save and savor and use them wisely. And oh, they are so nice and crisp and firm and good…
We tend to hoard too much too often, like our forebears who lived the Depression, walked city street with one nickel between man and wife, tried to decide: bread loaf or milk quart? Which would nourish more, which would give stomachs a more lasting fill?
We haven’t many (or any) of us done the Great Depression–so what’s our excuse? We take such focused care of ourselves, our needs, our maybe someday needs our just in case needs our well let’s get it anyway needs… And we smother ourselves with our blessings and we can’t see through the pile to God the giver of all good things and we drown in our own self-engineered drenchings!
Halt! Let me breathe. Take me back to the blessedness of that dawn of my Christ-knowing when, single parent left holding the empty bag, I learned to live by faith and not sight, learned to be more than contented in little–that time of praying and trusting, then pulling out of that empty bag what God kept slipping in: just what we needed, just when we needed it. (When finally I could buy a real nightgown to sleep in instead of old tattered T-shirt, I danced, ecstatic with gratitude.)
O, God of it all, “two things I ask of You (deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches–Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God” (Pro 30:7-9). Teach me, teach me, contentment in little–and how to abound in abundance–outward, somehow, to others in little.
Now, who would like some extra cucumbers?????