I’ve been marking student essays for days. Sometimes a rewarding experience.
One student’s essay included the following quotation, which reminded of the wonderful resources in the book from which it comes —but even more of the marvellous thought that real wealth exists in the capacity of people to receive what God already gives, not to have to get, claim, achieve, possess.
Furthermore, in this ‘commonwealth’ of God, there is real security. If only we knew this. If only those who lead our nations, and who also profess Christian faith, could see this as the basis of our security.
So here is the great quote …
It’s from Parker Palmer, in Let Your Life Speak, at pages 107 – 108:
‘In the human world, abundance does not happen automatically. It is created when we have the sense to choose community, to come together to celebrate and share our common store. Whether the scarce resource is money or love or power or words, the true law of life is that we generate more of whatever seems scarce by trusting its supply and passing it around. Authentic abundance does not lie in secured stockpiles of food or cash or influence or affection but in belonging to a community where we can give those goods to others who need them—and receive from other when we are in need.’
This is spot on! Our life style, which is in truth more like a death style, is about the insatiable demand and ‘need’ to gain things. And it always sets us against one another, in some kind of competition, if not outright conflict.
What Palmer is inviting us to see is that there is indeed never enough, until in fact we enter into a community, a common wealth: and then we find that in fact we are already far richer than we imagined. And far more secure! Our security rests in community, in relationship, in this ‘trust in the supply’.