Reverend Jacki’s blog title is a challenge to us to live with a paradox: a rich life is chaotic, seeming to be pieced together into a collage. We hope the diverse parts form a collage that is meaningful to us. At the same time, she refers to an “undivided life.” We recognize the sacred nature of each aspect of life. We are challenged to examine our illusions of divisions between people, places, ideas, preferences, time, and space.
As we approached Easter, I faced my own challenge. There weren’t enough eggs in my basket for my taste. The “reasons” were many: slow-paying clients, a lengthy illness just at the time I left my job hoping to reinvigorate my private law practice, and a recent decision to accept some worthy cases on contingency (delaying my payment until the conclusion of the case).
The truth inside me knew what was happening: I was following Jesus through a perceived desert, pretending I didn’t know how easily water turns into wine. Yet, I persisted in digging around through the plastic Easter grass in my basket, digging for the really good candy—frustrated it wasn’t there. I vacillated between grudgingly sucking on my off-brand chocolates and folding my arms, stubbornly waiting for the peanut-butter filled egg.
Spirit, knowing me better than I know myself, knew it was time for THE SPIRITUAL TRUTH BIG GUN. I needed a good dose of Capital-T Truth, the kind that leaves me in awe of god and the universe.
Where better to hide truth than in a recycled Wal-Mart shopping bag?
This is exactly what my mother did on my visit home last weekend. “We found some old birthday cards and stuck them in here,” Mom commented nonchalantly.
I groaned a little—I am not a big keeper of cards and have enough challenges with clutter without 39-year-old missives on my desk.
I thought of the cards late one night during the week. David (my partner) and I were watching In Her Shoes, a movie that features a reunion between a grandmother and granddaughters after they find lost birthday cards. I went to the kitchen and got the bag.
The cards were not casual greeting cards. They were cards from my second birthday. Since I was adopted, this was the first birthday I had spent with my family. Money fell from card after card, along with love pouring across the decades.
There were also cards from later years, with half-dollars, silver dollars, and so on carefully included with each.
An overwhelming amount of the money was from my Grandpa. Grandpa encouraged me to pursue a formal education, loved me through all I did, and has stayed with me since his death when I was 15. The sense of loss I felt when he made his transition has followed me through life. Despite knowing that his energy is alive and that his life unfolded perfectly, I have felt a pain at not having him with me through this life.
One especially precious missive is a rare sample of my Grandpa’s own handwriting on plain note paper tucked in with a small bill in a bill protector.
“To Kelli, with love, from Papaw.”
Here we are again, weaving this part of the collage into this undivided life:
“I have all I need. I have all the love of the universe and all the abundance of the universe, right here, right now. Nothing is hidden under the Easter grass, and nothing good has been kept out of my basket. It is all mine, right here, right now.”