The clown car is an object I often use as a metaphor. A few months ago, my child had a horrific cold. She blew her nose and blew her nose and blew her nose. Empty boxes lay strewn about the house, victims of stealth sinusitis. I said to my husband, “It’s like the clown car of mucus in there – how can so much snot lie beneath such a little face?”
Last Sunday, our choir processed up to the chancel during the opening hymn, as is their habit. They kept coming and coming – basses, tenors, altos, mezzos, sopranos. It’s very odd to hear a snippet of a part as each one would walk by – the bass line here, the descant there. Our choir director brought up the rear, and as she passed, I commented, “It’s like the clown car of singers.”
But the last clown car really is much more like a clown car. Some folks at church volunteer at a local warming center/shelter for families. The shelter was in need of pillows, and this couple made dozens of calls to hotels and motels to see if they had any to donate. No, no, no, no, no, till finally yes. Someone – I think it was a Hampton Inn (to give credit where credit is due) – said they had pillows for the taking. The couple drove their Prius over to get them. Indeed, the pillows were theirs for the taking – all one hundred of them.
I love the image. I love the image of this generous, kind couple shoving pillows into their Prius. I imagined pillows everywhere, sticking out of windows, under the spare tire, tied to the top. In reality, the couple made more than one trip to get all the pillows, but you get the idea.
As I think about it, maybe the clown car is not a bad metaphor for abundance. After all, walking around with a theology or philosophy of abundance is a bit comical, if not ridiculous. Just yesterday I had a coffee with a friend, and was reminded of things I really want to get done that aren’t done, and I heard my little inner Critic saying, “There’s not enough time. There’s not enough money. There’ s not enough sumatriptan for the headache all of this is bringing on.” Believing we live in an abundant world is a choice. Choosing to see clown cars everywhere is a choice. A ridiculous choice at that, but a choice nonetheless.
But I’m trying. It’s sort of like this blog’s title: Hold fast to what is good, because you never know what’s going to hit the fan. I strain my eyes to see every bit of hope and beauty and goodness and abundance in the world, because every single day there is some crap coming our way that wants to prove all the good stuff is a lie. But I don’t choose to fall for that. I think abundance is the norm, and supply-and-demand is the lie.
And I’ve run out of time at this point. I’m having lunch with my daughter today, to experience the abundant noise and hilarity of first graders in the school cafeteria. And look – there’s another clown car – all of them wanting to sit next to me! Tag, you’re it. I guess I’m the clown car today. I’ll hold fast to that.