Mid-November one lone blossom adorned my Christmas cactus. By Advent it was fuller than ever. It continued to blossom during the Christmas season and into Epiphany. Directees commented on it when they came, and I sat beside this bush, which was burning with glory, as I listened to them.
Silently, daily, gloriously, the plant declared: Christ has come! God is with us.
While I hid in the cleft of the rock and avoided Christmas expectations, blossoms continued to bud, bloom and fall. Mid-December God sang to me this verse from Song of Solomon:
My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
God found me in my hiding place, crept in and said, “There you are. Let me look at your beautiful face and hear your sweet voice.”
Not once did God, like a disappointed parent, say, “Now, Esther (sigh), we need to talk.” Instead, from the safety of our nook, God showed me how new traditions were budding and old ones falling away.
We collected spent blossoms and welcomed pink buds. I hadn’t filled stockings or wrapped many presents, yet gifts were given and received. I didn’t bake one cookie, yet a feast was enjoyed. Without a check list, loved ones were cherished, a Eucharist shared, the birth of Christ celebrated, and an Epiphany bestowed: it was enough.
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We live in a world driven by the need for more, even when we already have enough. What would it be like if we were set free from the compulsion to be, have, and do more? Author, therapist, and minister Wayne Muller shares much love mischief with the world in his book A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough. Muller believes, “By learning compassion and mercy for ourselves and by recognizing what is most profoundly true about who we are and what we need, we can gain the self-acceptance so that whatever we choose to do, in this moment, it is wholly enough.”