Hobbes: Why are you digging a hole?
Calvin: I'm looking for buried treasure!
Hobbes: What have you found?
Calvin: A few dirty rocks, a weird root, and some grubs.
Hobbes: On your first try??
Calvin: There's treasure everywhere!
Lenten Reflection II
“Blessed are the Poor”
by Sandra Wade (St. John’s)
The first Beatitude refers to the
poor and consid
ers them blessed. My goal is to convey and explore the idea of the word POVERTY. So, I began with an oral survey. Many readers will see their very own answers here. I asked many people to tell me what they first thought of when I said the word poverty to them. Answers ranged from poor people, Richmond County, no food, no money, sad, etc. Pretty dull; but the discussion that followed each was enlightening. Let’s concentrate on the first and most frequent response – poor people. Are they poor people or people who are poor? Define poor. Poor in what way? Money, spirit, respect, companionship, conscience, time management, education, patience? The list can go on and on. Then how, oh how, can being poor be considered a blessing? If these examples of the word poverty are distilled to mean a lack of, due to behavior, environment or education then a solution or blessing must be sought. First, a “lack of” must be identified or acknowledged.
Those of us who are blessed regularly by good health, or healthcare, love, and many other securities have identified the lack of in our lives. Often turning a lack of into a Blessing is accomplished simply by correcting our priorities, facing our shortcomings, admitting our faults, or focusing our energy and re-directing it to the opportunity so that acceptance of our lack of something could be fulfilled by acknowledgement and then proceed to turn our lack of into a Blessing. Often these are blessings in disguise. Just as frequently these blessings extend to those around us and those far away from us as we begin to consciously and conscientiously extend Random Acts of Kindness.
At the risk of being chastised I want to relate a recent true story. I was asked by a rather scruffy looking gentleman at a local outdoor mall if I could give him a ride to Walmart. Now, Walmart was across Rt. 17 in Tappahannock and directly across from our location. I wanted to say “no,” but somehow “yes” came out of my mouth. We were not out of the parking lot beside McDonald's, before he began a tirade regarding “that Manager.” He was angry that she had ousted him. He was going to get revenge and continued to escalate in words and volume what his intentions were. He became even more agitated as I made a right hand turn onto Rt. 17 instead of going directly across as I had planned. Busy trying to remain calm in the face of what was reaching a crescendo of threats aimed at the McDonald’s manager. I continued my journey of taking the not intended long way around to get my passenger to his destination. Then I looked at the car stopped directly in front of me at the stop light. I heard myself say to my disgruntled friend. “Read the license plate in front of us.” He read it out loud. It said, “HE LUVS U.” I witnessed a transformation of attitude in him immediately.
As he exited my vehicle, I noticed the difficulty he was having and asked if he had injured his leg. He softly answered, “No, m'am, I wear a prosthesis.” Due to my own lack of curiosity I had not noticed this beforehand. Of course, he could not have walked with any level of comfort from the Mall to Walmart. Here was a man with a sore lack of communication who was transformed by a Blessing before my very eyes. He was calm, cool and collected as he said, “Thank you for the ride.” The smile and the sparkle in his eyes told me he was aware of his good fortune and Blessing.
This all leads me to believe that although I cannot save the world, I can, most assuredly, save a portion of it through Christian leaps of faith, service and example.
I leave you with my lingering conundrum. Are we leaving critical thinking to Google and Facebook? Or, are we infusing Christian ideals and ideas by charging the batteries in our brains with Christ-centered opportunities that advance Christ’s teachings?
Once a lack of is identified, a solution becomes possible. It then becomes a choice.
Be the change you want to see.