JESUS SAYS that the kingdom of God belongs to those who have little or nothing spiritually. Have you ever felt spiritually inadequate? Have you said, “God, there’s no way I can do this?” Then, Jesus says, you’re the kind of person who will fit right into this new community God is building! In fact, you and people like you will be running things! The entire kingdom will belong to you.
– Mary Lou Redding
The Power of a Focused Heart: 8 Life Lessons from the Beatitudes
It’s strange perhaps a little ironic. Once upon a time, we might have felt so invincible spiritually. Full of power on high and ready to conquer the world. And yet, as time passes by, we gradually realize how inadequate we REALLY are. The moment the “triumphalism” wears out, then we are more READY (or is it READIER?) to embrace true victory, authentic blessing, the real stuff which is birthed out of what is commonly perceived as weakness, powerlessness, and vulnerability.
It’s harder to see that in a world where the smart and the strong seem to rule the day. Those who can speak better, those with the education, the vocabulary, the resources, and so on.
Or those who appear to be immovable more than the unmoved mover. Those who look as if everything is sorted out, layers and layers of protection to make sure we are adequately covered.
Just when you think you’re ok, then everything crashes. Every idol, and every ideology needs a smashing. Because when our confidence is put in them, we miss the chance to trust in the one who truly has our best interests in mind. Blind faith? not really . there’s a voice we hear, so it’s not a total silent leap into the unknown. Perhaps, it’s more of a faith which can hear, and it’s a leap into the being known. Then in the process, we see that every situation has some “redeemable” potential even though inherently it does not look very promising.
Of course, we don’t get so worked up if it’s just a situation. When it’s personal, it hits harder. So often, as I sit down and key in these words, I’m so well aware how inadequate I am before the one who is my origin and orientation in life. Today, there are moments I feel more like an outsider in a world where I’m supposed to feel I’m on the inside.
It’s already a given, that there will be those of us who can never be at home fully in any given context – and community. There’s a fluidity in the relationships there. Of course, even institutionally in what is called the “church” it can the same too. But then I only talk in this way, because that’s how some people are trapped in framing it this way.
When it comes to the way Jesus is forming the new community today, I know he operates with a better framework, and I get the sense he knows what he’s doing. So, while the struggle and wrestling on how does one live, exist and think through what it means to be in this new community will not end, until the other side in the future, I can have confidence, no matter how unqualified I am, there’s still a place for someone like me. He’s the builder, I’m one of the bricks. Or better, one of the stones.