This is a guest post by Jane Knuth.
An extraordinarily beautiful donation came into the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop a few weeks ago. A woman gave us a box of over 100 silk scarves, all colors and sizes, for all seasons of the year. Each one unique and in perfect condition, they were laundered, pressed, and folded.
We volunteers spent an afternoon admiring each one as we priced them all. We also spent a lot of time wondering why anyone on earth would need 100 silk scarves.
My friend Bess says that she doesn’t need more than 20 memorized poems. She thinks 20 is enough to cover any season, circumstance, or emotion that requires a spontaneous burst of poetic response.
I’ve pondered this idea all week and come to a similar conclusion. I probably don’t need more than 20 bookmarks. Once I have that many half-finished books next to my bed, there is little chance that I will ever finish them all. Maybe if I limit myself to 20 bookmarks, I will either have to finish one of the books before starting a new one, or else read the next new book without stopping.
Can you think of something where 20 is enough?
Jane Knuth is the author of Thrift Store Saints: Meeting Jesus 25¢ at a Time and the new Thrift Store Graces: Finding God’s Gifts in the Midst of the Mess. She has been volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the last 15 years.