If you’ve been reading along for a bit, you’ve heard me tell the story about my high school biology class and the project that involved trips to the beach and setting up, balancing, and maintaining aquariums. The big thing I learned was that one change in a system changes everything.
This is my life at the moment!
Luther is our one change. Our newest rescue Newfie. Young. Shy with moments of boisterousness. Clueless in many ways. Increasingly mouthy. Omnivorous. (Inhaling what falls in his bowl. Treats. Gnawing on toys. Pillows. A couple of attempts on quilts, which is a non-starter around here. The metal legs on a table near my chair.)
Phoebe is still recovering from surgery and doing really well on the four-footed injured-reserved list.
Sarah, on the other hand, is our everything changes girl. Explanation to follow. First a memory.
Twenty-seven years and two weeks ago, I preached my senior sermon in the chapel at Columbia Theological Seminary. It was quite a day.
The morning began with tornadoes in the area. Dave, who was 10 at the time, had to go to school dressed as his favorite book character. Being a bib overall kind of mom, I was hoping for Tom Sawyer. Or Huck Finn.
Oh, no. Dave wanted to be Gollum, from the Lord of the Rings!
Green. Clothes. Hair. Make-up. Green.
A ride to school was in order. Not only could we not let his make-up run, there was the hail thing going on. (Not, by the way, on the schedule!)
Chapel started at 10:00. Right after my first class. It was a Friday so I needed to set up for Communion. And there was the “small” matter of my lunch date. A first date. Bill.
One thing led to another and I stood up to preach. Lightening flashing through the stained glass windows. Power blinking. Anxiety like ostriches dancing in my belly.
I’m a little blank, at this point, on the sermon itself. Except to say that I was still breathing at the end which is, when you think about it, kind of the point.
And then, Walter Brueggemann stood up to invite us to the table. He spoke of the difference between a gospel of scarcity and a gospel of abundance. He invited us to live in abundance. Enough. Everyone.
That’s where Sarah is struggling just now. Her very neglected, very hungry new sibling has triggered a fear inside her that there is not enough. Specifically, not enough food. Not enough treats. She is living in scarcity. Or, rather, she’s living in imagined scarcity.
We’re working on it.
It may take a while.
One day she’ll relax again and realize that she’s not hungry. That there is enough.
And we’ll keep filling the bowls and giving the hugs and running rotating turns for car trips. Won’t you join us, in your own way?
There is enough. And, one day, the aquarium will find its balance again.