It was a Greek word reserved for demigods, elite, the ones “who lived above the normal cares, problems, and worries of normal people.” Then Jesus came and shattered the old conception with a line of astounding phrases. Maybe the lowest…were actually the highest.
I am beginning to see the blessedness.
It is frightening. And glorious beyond my imagination.
I read the “Blesseds,” hear them proclaimed in my ear, softly beckoning and comforting as my CD repeats and I heard the round of eight verses followed by the breathed awe. “Rejoice! And be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”
How does the soul-emptiness, the mourning, the readiness to accept the wrongs and hatred and persecution, the starving, the unrequited outpouring of myself turn into the blessedness? At what point do I realize the rejoicing instead of the dread that I might be wronged?
Jesus does not phrase this conditionally. This is reality, who I am in the kingdom. This is how this world will recognize me.
But what price must I pay to realize the fullness, the comfort, the abundance of Christ? What corners of my heart am I clutching so tightly that my fingers throb and I can’t imagine the searing pain of being pried loose from my autonomy. That scares me.
Until the light started to come. I don’t know what it was, but I started to see.
That the break in the clouds, when the sun pierces through with glory, would not still our souls with thrills without the clouds.
The turn for the better in the hospital when your heart has wrung dry and bitter and then the eyes flutter and the one you love is going to live. Could we feel the soaring without the wringing?
When my pillow is wet every night because she’s still running from God and I can’t understand but I’m still clinging to Him because He’s all I have left, I am stilled and find the sweetness at the dead core of the hurt. A sweetness I would never have found without this pain.
I start awake in the night. There’s fear I can’t be sure of and longings that I can’t fill and I can’t find any rest until I’m laying in His arms again. In that quietness, I bless the ache that drove me back to Him again.
I start to grasp the unutterable and He’s here. I see the “Blesseds” and know that they’re not just promises or bewildering spiritual paradoxes or a shortcut to happiness.
These radical blessings are where Jesus can take me. They are reality when I bring my soul poverty and unquenched thirst and He brings His love that knows no blight and His strength that conquers all. They are the proofs of His power, because now I can live impossibly and love impossibly and die impossibly. What limitless power!
Fallen at His feet, I let Him strip away the brokenness. He gives me His abundance.
I recently watched the film “The Hiding Place,” as Corrie ten Boom clutched her dying sister close and tried to block the inevitable from her mind. Betsie whispered in the dimness, words that became a victory cry long after the Ravensbruck ovens had cooled from their ghastly work. “…(We) must tell them what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”
And maybe the only way people can see His glory today is for me to be crushed and still sing.
I’m on the altar again, sisters.
Will you join me? It’s glorious, because He’s here and I am truly blessed.