Sunday, November 30, 2008
Signs of Abundance
The table was full at our place this past Thanksgiving. Family sat around it and an abundance of food was before us. On the table was turkey and ham, cranberry sauce, butter beans, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, green bean casserole and macaroni and cheese brought by one daughter, rice and broccoli brought by my Mother, cranberry bread baked by one of my grandsons, lemon squares and my favorite, Italian Creme Cake. It was a feast. I did my best to eat as much as I could and still there was so much left for other meals. When I think about that table gathering, I realize how abundantly I am blessed.
A few days later I encountered another moment when I had the same realization. Instead of being at the table, I was at the garbage can. It is always full by the time the man makes his weekly pickup, but this week it was so full the lid would not shut and there were still two days to make additional trips. As I stood there by the can trying to pack it down to put in more, I was in a different way reminded of my abundance. Most of the world’s people would have no need for a trash can the size of mine. Most of the people of the world would not be throwing away so much stuff. Most of the world’s people would not throw away leftover food because it had gotten too old to eat.
I left the trash can aware of how blessed I am. But, this moment of blessing was a different one, a strange one. I would have been embarrassed and ashamed even more if some of those who have nothing were watching me throwing old food away. Actually, I think the real problem had to do with the awareness that Jesus was watching and speaking words in my heart that were then and are now painful to hear.