This is not going to be a piece about politics. There is enough of that going on. In my opinion, there is too much prose-based anxiety. Too many sharp delineations between black and white. Not enough beauty. Not enough color.
What I believe we need in our society is poetry – reminders of beauty and expansiveness. We need language that points us beyond our here-and-now. We need vivid hues of blue, bright shades of lavender, seductive glimpses of red. We need the color of grace, the taste of compassion, and the sound of love.
I believe Christian faith has something to say about that. Philippians 4.4 says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” In a season where anxiety is the default, the command to trade thanksgiving for anxiety seems impossible. And yet we must be thankful. We have to set anxiety and fear aside and grab onto the grace of God with both hands.
Saying “no” to anxiety and fear is easier said than done. But maybe we start by saying it. Maybe we start by saying “thank you” for all that we have, see, and experience. Maybe we say it until we actually start to believe and until our lives begin to revolve kaleidoscopically around gratitude and grace in a magnificent waltz of awe and wonder.
Lately, a clear message that I have heard from God in my own devotional life is this: “enough is enough.” I do not hear it from an angry God, scolding me for acting out; rather, I hear it from a gracious God who invites me to see abundance all around me. Enough. We have enough.
Belief in the efficacy of enough has the power to radically reorient our lives. When we believe we are enough, we refuse to give ourselves over to unfulfilling, exploitative relationships. When we believe we have enough, we eschew the acquisitiveness of a consumer-society that values profits over people. When we believe that our neighbor is enough, we cease attempting to mold them to what we think they should be and simply accept them as they are. When we believe that God is enough, we can hold onto the blessed assurance that no matter the magnitude of the task in front of us, we have all we need to follow God faithfully.
I simply cannot tell you the number of times I have seen relief and freedom on the faces of individuals and communities when I have said the word “enough.” Anxiety and fear constrict the soul. So often we expend so much effort attempting to carry things we weren’t meant to carry and do things we weren’t meant to do. We waste so much attempting to be anything other than what we are. Maybe this comes from a deeply faithful place, a soul trying desperately to earn the love of God. We often reach the end of our ropes trying desperately to maintain control.
And that’s when grace comes in to free us from the heresy of commoditized love. We are loved for love’s sake. We are loved because loving is God’s very nature. Deep faith in that love transforms us into a community that shares and bares one another up. Maybe that’s what scripture invites us into when it sings to us that “perfect love casts out fear.” Love invites us to cast our crowns before the higher truth of grace. Love serenades us to surrender, to stop or feckless striving, to stop chasing after the wind and to simply hear it feel its touch.
That love song is the poetry the Church can speak against an age of rabid anxiety. That’s the resplendent rainbow the Church can paints the monochromatic madness of fear. You are loved. Deeply. Fundamentally. Outrageously. Loved.
You have enough.
You are enough.
Enough is enough.