ENOUGH. That was the word for 2011. When I wrote it down in faith last January, I imagined a different sort of "enough" than what we got - something brighter, happier, fuller. One reason I love to christen each year with a word is this final act: this looking back to see how the year and its name came to live together. God was enough...there's no doubt. But I'm glad I didn't know then that so many hard things were yet ahead. God knew, and He gave us exactly enough to cling through one more year.
One day this last week on a trip downtown, we ducked into a high-end shopping mall to get out of the rain and find some lunch. Before we closed the gold and glass doors on the street outside, a woman caught my eye. She was clearly homeless, her body round and misshapen by layers of clothing for warmth and layers of plastic for the rain. She had her head down, muttering, as she pushed her wealth along in a shopping cart. When I saw her she had stopped for a moment to adjust the teetering load, shoving and pushing and rearranging until she was satisfied and then two hands on the bar and a great heave to get it all going once again.
Entering the polished world of the mall with its crush of beautiful people and things, I wished I could go back out and see her again, to watch her progress, learn the tricks of holding your small world together when you are forced to the margins, of how to keep pushing when the destination is only the same block you've traveled five times this day already. "Sister, " I would say. "Sister, we are the same."
On the cusp of the new year, I find myself reluctant to say out loud the words that have whispered themselves as possibilities for 2012. The internet feels like a polish and shimmer world and I feel like a woman misshapen by burden and muttering to herself. But all's well. I have Enough right now, my cart is full and if I keep pushing, I'll get over the next curb and down the next block. I have a feeling that if I keep watch, write it down as it comes, 2012 will take on a name of its own.