20 Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:

‘Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 ‘Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
‘Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

I do not want to be “poor”. I am not eager to be “hungry now” or to “weep”. This does not sound like the program I signed up for. There are not many schemes and strategies I will not employ in a futile attempt to avoid poverty, hunger and weeping.

I prefer the part where I get to inherit “the kingdom” and “be filled,” and “laugh”. But, Jesus seems to suggest that I cannot have “the kingdom” without the poverty. There is no being “filled” that does not pass through “hungry now” territory, no laughing that does not emerge out of the tears of weeping.

The truth is I am poor. I cannot escape the hunger that gnaws in my gut, and I “weep.” The world at times is a sorrowful place; there are times when life is filled with more want and need than seems easily bearable.

I can seek to flee the realities of life as I know them to be. I can try to escape, avoid, deny, or just ignore what I experience as the human condition. But I cannot change the reality of poverty hunger and weeping that are an inescapable part of the human experience.

When there is no escape, the only way forward is to sit with the reality of what is.

When I give up denying or seeking to escape my poverty, hunger and weeping, something deeper begins to open. I discover a presence at the heart of my poverty. Fullness flows at the centre of the emptiness. There is joy even in the midst of weeping.

The problem lies not in the poverty, hunger, or weeping. The problem is in my inability to stop, be still and sink more deeply into the place of true power, abundance and joy.

There is nothing I need to resist or reject; it is all grist for heart-opening. And wherever there is true deep heart-opening, love will flow. I will discover power, abundance, and joy, even in the midst of poverty, hunger, and weeping.

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