Dayenu – When is it enough?


The picture on the left is of a shelter that the children of Circle of Mercy congregation made a few weeks ago.  Missy Harris preached about Sukkot -the Festival of Booths/Shelters and the children constructed one. She said, “In the Jewish tradition, each year families construct makeshift shelters outside their homes… The shelters are to be built with materials that grow from the earth.  The roof provides enough space to view at least three stars in the night sky and with enough space to feel the shifts in the weather – cool air, rain, and wind.  This tradition recalls the paradox of our faith journey, a journey that holds both joy and sorrow.”

In that service we sang the song “Dayenu” which roughly translated means, “it would have been enough for us.” Some of the verses are, “Had God brought us out of Egypt, But not split the sea before us, Well then dayenu.  Had God given us commandments, But not led us into homeland, Well then dayenu.”  Missy then poses the question, “How often do we really feel like it is enough? “That certainly wasn’t the case at the beginning or even in the middle of the Exodus story.  God brought the people out of Egypt, out of slavery, protected them on their journey, and provided for their daily needs.  But when they got to a place where they could stop and take a breath, Dayenu, was not the refrain that they were singing.”

Sixteen years after sustaining my brain injury, I often feel as it it isn’t enough.  I learned how to walk, eat and speak again but that isn’t enough.  I learned how to preach and write other things but that isn’t enough.  I learned how to manage my new stress level and still, that isn’t enough. I want to be just like I was prior to my brain injury. I’m like the Egyptians when they longed for the comfort and certainty they had known when they were enslaved in Egypt.

I don’t mean to imply that my life before my TBI was like the harsh conditions of the Egyptians.  This isn’t the case at all for I liked my life and my activities.  Yet, I can’t help thinking how much easier it was then when I didn’t have to deal with the effects of my TBI.    

Sometimes I feel a bit out-of-it because I cannot be as”busy” as those in the world around me seem to be without consequences.  However, I also realize that because my schedule isn’t as tense as the rest of the world’s, I can really experience God’s beauty. I won’t forget when I had time back in the spring to stop and watch a nest of little birds as they hatched and grew big enough to leave it.

I don’t believe God calls any of us to be so busy that we have no time to experience the wonder of God’s creation.  I don’t believe God wants us to have no time to relate and care for each other.  I don’t believe God values us more if we preach great sermons or lead important meetings. No, who and what we are, is enough. 

 I am enough.          


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