by Rev. Larry Strenge, Director of Evangelical Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
In 2011 I was introduced to Lynne Twist’s captivating and transformative storytelling through her book, The Soul of Money. An error in ordering the audio version of the book led to hours of learning more as she narrates an outstanding workshop entitled, Unleashing the Soul of Money. Both resources share overlapping stories of her journey as a global fundraiser, an activist for women and indigenous people, as well as her surprising truth about her soul’s relationship with what we call money. I’ve discovered that her insights into the toxicity of a scarcity mindset, as well as the joy experienced once one begins to live into the truth of sufficiency, are revealed in many places.
For example, I recently returned from a Habitat for Humanity Global Village program trip to the Dominican Republic. On the fourth night of a nine-day home building experience our group of twelve gathered for our nightly time of reflection. Our leader asked us, “What shifts have you noticed in yourself as a result of the experience we are having?”
Kim was first to speak. She recalled a sermon Pastor Elizabeth – also a participant in the group – had recently preached. In it she invited the congregants to consider the lens through which they viewed the world. Was it a lens of scarcity? Or was it a lens of God’s abundance? Then Kim said, “I came here expecting to find a world of scarcity. Instead what I’ve discovered is a world of abundance.”
What Kim was observing came through the relationships we’d formed: with the family, through the dedicated Habitat workers and laborers, and through the joy that was seen in numerous faces around us as we built this home and shared meals together. We were living into what Brother David Steindl-Rast, one of Twist’s teachers, calls “Great Fullness” or simply “gratefulness” as a way of being.