An Abundance I Never Knew

Isaiah 55:2 — “Listen carefully to me and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”

I see a man standing under a waterfall — arms outstretched, half laughing, half crying — knowing that his life has been spared, having been near death when he found the water. So grateful …

I had no idea You were that rich and this generous. I was so tired and so broken and so alone when You found me — or should I say — when I finally saw You.

I had no idea You were so close and so ready to be with me, when I had tried so hard to find a key to unlock the door.

I had no idea that the door was keeping You out. I thought I was the one on the outside trying to get in.

I had no idea there was such a feast of foods to eat, when all the time I had known nothing but slim pickings.

I still do not understand why I could not see what was possible all along. So simple, a little child could have shown us. But we thought You were far away, having left us here to fend for ourselves the best we could.

I grieve over our life — my life — a life of scarcity in the midst of abundance. A man in poverty inside a palace. Sitting in a hallway next to the banquet hall, chewing on an old dry bone and wondering how I would survive another day.

It was as if I had been taught by a prior occupant of the house — where they kept the trash and how to find scraps of food by rummaging through the leftovers. The banquet hall was for a party that would not be held for years, and we had to wait. We should never imagine that we could be seated at the table today.

So I believed him. And I spent many days searching through the refuse, looking for a morsel, all the while wondering why I was so hungry, when I had heard that if you came to the palace you could be filled.

I want to be mad at the one who lied to me about how to find food here. But I see him digging through the trash with all the fierceness and determination of a rescue working trying to get to a buried victim. And I have to admire his dedication and fidelity to his task. I even want to join him and help him despite the fact that I know his search is futile. And then I weep. So many like me are trying to emulate his endurance and commitment, and they are dying from the effort and lack of food.

I am almost ashamed to leave them and go sit at the table that is so overburdened with good food, you might wonder how it stands up under the weight of so much goodness. As I eat until I can bear no more, my heart breaks for my brother who is languishing out in the back yard — who cursed and swore and threatened me many times when I tried to tell him about the banquet. He won’t come; he cannot believe. He will not allow the possibility that all his work has been in vain. And he will not be given to in any case, for he is determined to earn his morsels by the sweat of his brow.

I wish he would hear. But I know how deaf I was myself. I just don’t know why.

O, my God, open their eyes and ears and hearts and reveal to them your wondrous love and grace and generous abundance. With the psalmist I declare, “Search me O God and know my heart. And see if there is any blindness there, where I stumble and fall for lack of vision. May I never fight You or resist the work You want to do in me. That I may know You more and delight in Your abundance with all my heart.”

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