The riches of the poor in spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven… I love that it is in the poor in spirit, we can see Jesus. Whether it be the patient dying in hospital, the homeless person on the street, the street child, foster child or the belfast youth desperately looking for any opportunity to dedicate their lives to a cause… this is where I have always met with Jesus most… time & time again.

I love how God is their defender, their protector, & that He is biased towards them constantly. “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith & to inherit the kingdom he promised to those who love him?” (James) Throughout scripture we see this command to love the poor. Not just to be kind to them, but to take them into our hearts. I have always found that when spending time with someone poor in spirit, I am thrown into the arms of Jesus – often completely offguard & in scenarios where the desperation of that particular person has caused such a desperation to rise up in me that I cannot bear another millisecond without more of Jesus presence. But this is not about me. It is unequivocably about Jesus love for people… the poor in particular. I love Hannah’s prayer after the dedication of Samuel to the temple: “He raises the poor from the dust & lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes & has them inherit a throne of honour”…

A few years after falling in love with Jesus, I eventually fell in love with what He is in love with – his church. I remember coming out of church once as a young twenty something, & there was this homeless guy, Gerry, standing in the carpark looking for a wee chat with someone. It was as if he wasnt there at all. He was making folk feel awkward. I watched this in disbelief, came home & went up to my room where I remember God breaking my heart! This was the church! what was going on?! I felt God’s commision then, to be his church to the poor… He loves his bride so passionately & I 100% believe we cannot love the poor enough individually, but that as a body, we can change the world & impact the poor with his love & power. his presence is his power… & the presence always turns up when we are of one body, and one spirit.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been too many times I’ve been cold hearted & tired & too busy to stop – many, many, times. But on the occasions when we do stop, there is always such a sense of the Kingdom breaking out, right there & then that it makes me very hungry for more. To do the incredibly clichéd thing of using an old U2 lyric “where you live should not decide, whether you live or whether you die”… the reality of this statement literally keeps me up at night. The thing is that whilst we are now living with my amazingly generous, & giving mother… we are also simultaneously finding life become more demanding than it ever has done before. With work, parenting, visas, communications, planning, banking (the list goes on) we are trully learning what it means during this season, to depend fully on him. But isn’t it so worth it?!

We’re getting to know Jesus like never before & the amazing privelege of being able to see the Kingdom break out amongst children who literally have nowhere else to go (or be sent to). wow. It blows me away that Jesus would ever trust us this much & it would be false humility to say “I can’t do this, because im not good enough”… as only He gets to define our worth, & He thought we were worth giving up His life for. That gets me time & time again. Giving up our “stuff” is not a sacrifice. Neither is moving house, living with a parent again, having your family relocate…. it’s not a sacrifice when we look at Jesus & see His goodness & the fact that He gave up everything to get us back & that his heart is broken over the lives of people who do not know his goodness & their significance. There are so many…

We are also learning how we can’t do this on our own & how much we need people. I think we’re more grateful for the generosity & faithfulness of people than we ever have been before. So as I write this I am so grateful to God for increasing his heart for people, children, the poor in us…. but I am also so grateful to the church for being such a beautiful bride & for our friends & work colleagues for giving more than we could have ever thought possible. Thankyou. We love and appreciate each of you.


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