A month or so ago I received an e-mail from a friend in Africa. She commented on the Boston Marathon tragedy in Boston. “Similar situations take place here all the time”, she said, “they just don’t make headline news.” As I reflected on her e-mail, I thought of the pictures I often see in the news of car bombings in various parts of the world. People hurt and killed. Devastation of body, heart and soul lingering in the aftermath. Then there are the heart wrenching pictures of people all over the world dealing with devastating natural disasters. Until our technology can stop an eye of the storm of a tornado or hurricane, those sad pictures will continue.
What, however, stops the eye of the storm of our inhumanity toward one another? What is the root cause? Envy? Jealousy? Insecurity? Greed? Power? Control? Scarcity? Dominance? Perhaps a passage from Luke (9: 11b-17) from the Christian scriptures sheds light.
A crowd gathered around Jesus early in the day. The place was rather remote. As the end of the day approached the disciples suggested that Jesus dismiss the crowds so they could seek lodging and food in neighboring villages. There isn’t anything here, they insisted. Jesus asked how much food was left. This is all we have, they told Jesus, five loaves and two fishes. It isn’t enough, send them away, the disciples insisted. Jesus, however took the disciples’ food, shared it and all ate until satisfied. There was enough and even enough food left over.
The disciples looked through the lens of scarcity. Jesus looked through the lens of abundance. Look closer, Jesus said, look closer. To see abundance in life, look closer. Look through the lens of abundance, rather than the lens of scarcity.
Could wars and violence against women and power and control in church and society end if we embrace abundance rather than scarcity? Too easy? Too simple? Perhaps. Yet, look closer. To see abundance in life, look closer? What do you notice?
Our invitation is to embrace abundance.
Blessings and peace.