Poverty is the door to freedom, not because we remain imprisoned in the anxiety and constraint which poverty of itself implies, but because, finding nothing in ourselves that is a source of hope, we know there is nothing in ourselves worth defending. There is nothing special in ourselves to love. We go out of ourselves therefore and rest in Him in Whom alone is our hope. 52

When I am able to embrace my poverty, there is nothing left for me to defend. I am poor. There is nothing you can take from me.

I have no shiny success in this world to protect. I have few grand possessions worth fighting for. My reputation is not something for which it is worth going to battle. I do not need to draw boundaries around my paltry riches in order to feel safe and secure.

Jesus said,

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (Luke 6:20)

This bold statement has nothing to do with the grinding poverty of those whose life circumstances make it impossible for them to provide the basic necessities of life. Jesus had no romantic idea of the nobility of being destitute.

The poverty whose virtue Jesus extols is the poverty of knowing that apart from the love that is God, I have nothing; I am nothing. Love alone is the deepest desire of my heart. All I really want or need to possess is that presence of the Divine who is my source and my destiny.

When I accept the poverty of my being I am able to “rest in Him in Whom alone is our hope.” My life is no longer held captive to the need to accumulate more or to protect that which I have already acquired. My poverty opens me to the presence of God; it ushers me into the inheritance of one who possesses “the kingdom of God.” It is this possession alone that makes me truly free to be fully the person I was created to be as a child made in the image of God.

What am I trying to defend and protect in this life?

What will it require for me to truly embrace my poverty and inherit the birthright of my freedom?

Advertisements