As fearful people we are inclined to develop a mind-set that makes us say: “There’s not enough food for everyone, so I better be sure I save enough for myself in case of emergency,” or “There’s not enough knowledge for everyone to enjoy; so I’d better keep my knowledge to myself, so no one else will use it” or “There’s not enough love to give to everybody, so I’d better keep my friends for myself to prevent others from taking them away from me.” This is a scarcity mentality. It involves hoarding whatever we have, fearful that we won’t have enough to survive. The tragedy, however, is that what you cling to ends up rotting in your hands. Henri Nouwen
My first read of this brought several quilterly thoughts to mind: our fabric stashes and how we share knowledge and further how “hoarding” sabotages the gifts. Then I went onto thinking about the Gifts God gives us, the Pearl of Great Price, the Treasure that is buried, the Talent that is squandered.
And then I thought about fear and how it cripples, how it prevents us from doing so much in life and how that fear can lead us to places we do not want to go. Or it will prevent us from going to places that God is leading, the places that lead us to growth and healing and wholeness.
And then I thought of jealousy and how it robs, diminishes, negates, how it prevents us from sharing in the joy and gifts that God gave us and the person our jealousy is directed towards. I thought of how jealous perpetuates and belittles. How we can begin to see less and less of our authentic self and the gift God has given me to use and grow in. How the gift of the other can be blown up and idolized or diminished and lessened. How jealousy is like an invasive plant that takes over everything, leaving no space for anything else to grow. Jealousy robs us of joy.
And then I thought of gossip and the pain it can bring, the destruction that happens along it’s path. Oh gossip. Sometimes things are nobody else’s business. Gossiping robs us of trust because that thing that was said in confidence is now public. The thing said can be twisted, and often is, in such a way that part of the truth is still there and yet it’s hidden in a whole lot of fabrication.
And then I thought of the freedom that comes, the joy experienced, the grace multiplied when I let go of these destructive forces. Letting go of a hoarding feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, a tendency towards gossip has left room to explore and grow and let others have their gifts and rejoice in them. Joy and grace are always multiplied! They grow and share and give thanks for the gift of the other.
I think it’s important to acknowledge the feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, fear, and negativity as this exploration gives us information about our self. We can see how to become more of who God intends us to be. This isn’t easy. In fact it can be downright painful.
In letting go of jealousy, inadequacy, and fear we can begin to empathize with another who has struggles of their own. We can enjoy the gift of the other for who God created them to be. We can appreciate the gifts and talents given them.
Letting go of hoarding is a gift.
This is all quilt related, quilting is a gift from God: from the practical, keeping the family warm to the beauty and artistry of quilts made for art to the whimsy and humor oft displayed. The gift of quilting is as individual as the quilt maker, as it is intended. Oh I could go on here speaking of honoring God with the gift of quilting however, I need to think through some of my own feelings and how to honor God more deeply and fully with this gift he has given me. Because honestly, I’ve not been doing so well with that lately.