“Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit”

Today is draining; today is sad. Today I am grateful for the “blessed are you“s.

Four summers ago, again and again throughout rehearsals and performances, I popped up behind a man with a heart painted on his face and rainbow suspenders, suggesting, “Master! Blessed are the poor in spirit?” My palms were open, ready to receive something from my Lord. He smiled and filled my hands with his, responding enthusiastically, “For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!”

That was a play about Jesus, a play about parables, about what the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth looks like.

I’m glad I have that memory tucked away inside me. I’m glad I have those colours, that gentleness, those songs. It’s a comfort to know that, when I am poor of spirit, the Kingdom of Heaven is still mine. Today I mourn. Today I am meek. Today I know what it feels to be persecuted, to have all manner of evil spoken about me, simply because Christ informs my words and actions. Simply because I try to be like Jesus, and do what he told me to do. He tells me to protect, affirm, defend. I am angry at unrighteousness, because he got angry at unrighteousness. He called hypocrites what they were: snakes; a brood of vipers. Because they deceived and strangled the sheep. I’m tired, so tired, of the sheep being deceived and strangled. Jesus didn’t mind his own business. Jesus did say “sheep, solve your own problems.”

He is like the shepherd, who left the 99 to find the 1. I want to be like that. I must not know how to do it – but I so badly want to mirror God in this way.

I am doing it wrong, they say. I am following the world, not Christ. But it isn’t true. I am following Christ.

Is it that I  simply misunderstand him? Or do you?

How am I to ever know?

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