Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

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At least 100 times before, I have read or heard the verses of Matthew 5, the Beatitudes. At least 100 times I have thought they weren’t written for me. I convinced myself that the “conditions” that Jesus spoke of are those of non believers and that as a Christian, I was automatically excluded from them.

For the first time I am learning to see them for what they are. Not a suggestion or instruction or excuse. Instead, a simple and extravagant announcement. No conditions, no fine print. Made in general to all mankind and specifically breathed just for me.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit, when I swore that the last time was the last time and yet here I am. Unsure of how I got here. Unclear of what draws me back to this place of doubt time and time again. Ashamed and guilty. Tired of asking for forgiveness from you and yet unable to forgive myself. Ready to promise again to try harder and to do better but not sure if I really mean it.  Or if I even want to. When words and conversations play over and over again in my mind as a constant reminder of failure. When I’ve said things that cut deep into the flesh of those I love most. When I’ve lost my temper and lost my focus and when I’ve given up. When I lay down to sleep and the darkness only makes those voices louder.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, when the most painful place to exist is in my mind. When I allow myself to dream and get lost in a place that doesn’t exist. There in my subconscious is the life I have convinced myself I deserve and it looks nothing like the life I live on the other side. Just like punching your fist through a glass window, it hurts to go through it but the real pain is in pulling your arm that’s already cut and raw back through the jagged glass to only be gashed even deeper. And yet, I still do it. Comparing becomes obsessive and only adds to the scars.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, on days when being his mom feels anything like a blessing and more like a sentence. On days when my “religion” tells me that I have failed because I serve a God of an empty tomb, and with that comes only joy and yet I am stuck in the sorrow of three days before.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

And in hearing those familiar words, it’s like God is speaking them to me for the first time.  He’s leaning in and He’s whispering them, repeating them over and over again until I can stop hearing them and start knowing them.  And in those words He’s declaring His promise to me.

On my own I’m nothing more than broken.  Nothing more than shattered.  But in my emptiness, I’m never been more loved.

Blessed are we, the empty and the broken who come with nothing left to give but ourselves, for ours is the kingdom of heaven. 
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  • Alanna Menke Cathcart

    I love that you wrote about this! Our counselor was talking to Justin and I about this the other day. We talked about how ptochos is the word used in the Beatitudes. And ptochos means one who is poor and can’t satisfy his own needs. Thank God we know we cannot do it on our own. We need Him. On those days where I feel just like you do- fighting to see it as a blessing I need to come back to this. Thanks for the reminder :) xoxo