Leading in to this week's message on The Least of These, I was struck by really thinking through what it means to be poor, To keep it short I've been forced to look inward, because, I too am "poor in spirit". In reading lately I’ve been struck by Henri Nouwen’s observation:
"...the Christian … is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self."
Being called to irrelevance is to set aside our identity and everything we measure success by- nothing to notice, nothing to grab your attention. It is uncomfortable to do, emptying ourselves of the thinking we’ve long used to define our self worth. We’re fearful of feeling ‘poor in spirit’ and of being vulnerable, yet we all are and it's the place of soul that God values; our most pliable selves. Facing our own poverty though, does not mean we’re valueless. On the contrary, theologian Johannes Baptist Metz asserts, “the unending nature of our poverty…is our only innate treasure.” This treasure, is the humble heart that accepting our spiritual poverty, physical limitations, or emotional end of the rope, connects us to the larger community of the poor, the needy, the heartbroken, and the people that lives outside the margins of our relationships.