My husband recently commented on a neighbor’s gratitude saying, “She’s always so grateful and gracious. I think for her, everything’s a blessing.” Maybe it is our emptiness and openness that enable us to experience being blessed. If our hands are full and fists closed, we can’t receive what is being offered. We can only accept a gift, if our hands are open.
Who will know the blessings of the presence of God? Those who are poor in spirit not filled with ego and ambition. And those who are living in their integrity, who are “persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” doing what is right because it is right—the whistle-blower, the protester, the one who helps without caring whether there will be reward or punishment. Their blessing is to know that they stand before God, know the love of God, beyond the love of the world.
And the merciful will receive mercy because they know mercy. They recognize it; know that at times one must stretch the understanding of one’s mind and heart to get beyond judgment. Those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” will be filled because they are looking for the least little bits of good news in this harsh world. Their ears are tuned to that frequency and so they will hear and experience what others miss.
And the pure in heart see God, because, again, that is what they seek. God’s Spirit is all around us, within us―moving the seed to sprout, the clouds to dissipate, a stranger to smile. We see God when we look for God. We are blessed when we open our hands to receive.
How will the meek inherit the earth? They are the only ones who ever do. When the wars are over and the powerful deposed, the meek are there still. In Jesus’ world, the Children of Caesar wear armor and wield power, while the Children of Abraham are oppressed. But the Children of God are those of any nation or race who find in any circumstance ways to exercise empathy, compassion, make an enemy a friend, to reach out with an open hand.
As our hands remain open to reach out for what we need, what we long for, what we can give, whatever comes, we know blessing. Welcome the New Year and all its blessings!