during the season of lent, i am part of a team leading bible study at my [former] teaching parish with a fellow seminarian to discuss minnesota without poverty, which has been a fascinating trip as we discuss “enough.”
this past wednesday, we worked through session 1: enough for all.
while i cut out a lot of the discussion guide, i felt that there are core questions that are important to ask and so i did:
– what is enough? what is poverty?
– what resources are needed to have enough? (hint: more than just financial)
– who has enough?
– what are some basic needs that everyone needs to have enough of?
– how can we learn to share the abundance God provides so that everyone will have enough?
the conversation was a lot longer than i had anticipated. but it was fascinating to watch the adults think critically about a tough issue. some had deep desires to share their own stories and opinions, others felt uncomfortable or cynical to think about how some have too much and others don’t have enough. it can get overwhelming to talk about enough when we know of individuals who don’t have enough and the system is keeping them from getting enough.
the biggest connection to the stories of “enough” were to people who happened to have mental or social limitations. these were stories that were extremely personal as the connections to the people without enough sparked deep emotions of defeat, sorrow, frustration, concern, confusion, helplessness, hopelessness…
some emotions were directed at the structured system in our society with its many limitations and obstacles. other emotions were directed towards those who suffer. and yet other emotions were aimed at one’s own limitations and desire to help. some expressed guilt at having (more than) enough to live and thrive while others lack.
what i think is interesting is the fact that deep contentment or joy or satisfaction was not expressed that night, probably since we did not look closely at how we feel when we have enough.