Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blessed in the Morning and the Mourning

My brain feels fuzzy.  Faintly I hear the horn of music begin.  Notes grow louder as I fully awaken to the loudspeaker blasting a melody from the nearby church. The neighborhood has power this morning. Songs mingle with the pitter-patter of rain on the muddy African soil.  My hand reaches for the lighted watch on the bedside table. It is 5:30 in the morning.  I wonder if I am meant to get out of my warm bed at this moment. 

Yes, I decide, there's no going back to dreamland.  My bare feet hit the hard concrete floor covered in a thin piece of carpet.  Cold toes now.  I stumble across the room and enter the hallway.  Sticking my head into the boys' room, I check to make sure they are still asleep.  Recovering the youngest with his cozy blanket, I selfishly mumble a quick prayer for an hour to myself. 

Retreating  back to my bedroom, I grab the thick, black Bible with my handwriting scrawled across multiple pages.  Attempting to be as quiet as a mouse, my legs carry me tiptoeing down the stairs. 

The Word of God is set on the table.  I head to the kitchen and pour clean water into a pot.  When it boils, I pour the expensive necessity on top of coffee grounds in the French press.  I say a prayer of thanks for this jolt of caffeine, even though it's filled with pieces of coffeebean and sludge in my mug. 

Back at the table, I open the Bible to the words memorized long ago:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Those passages from Matthew 5 cause me to ponder- what does it mean to be blessed?

Makarios.  The Greek word for "blessed" in the New Testament.  It means, "to be fortunate or happy". 


I will be happy when I mourn my sin.  Do I do that?

I will be happy when I am merciful to others.  Am I merciful?

I will be happy when I am a peacemaker.  Am I a peacemaker?

I will be fortunate when I am ridiculed for my faith.  When that happens, do I realize I am fortunate?

I wonder if I will ever truly understand the implications of these 9 verses. 

I move on to the rest of the Sermon on the Mount and think about how far I have come.  Thank you, Jesus. But still I have so far to go.  Never will my heart perceive all there is to know about this thick, black book.

But one day, in God's time, I will stand before His throne.  Bow, kneel, "I can only imagine".  Side by side with brothers and sisters from Ethiopia, America, Italy, Israel, and every other nation spanning this great Earth, I will lift holy hands in worship.  Then I will KNOW.

As I hear a cry descending the stairs, my mind snaps back to this present world.  The children are awake.  Waiting.  Waiting for clothes.  Waiting for breakfast.  Waiting for a hug.  Waiting for their mother. 

Fingers lovingly close the pages carried across the ocean for just such a morning as this. 

Thank you, Spirit, for speaking to me today.