Friday, June 29, 2012

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

Last night I lay in bed with Bodhi, frustrated that he wasn't falling asleep.  I decided to stop stewing and pour endless love and attention to him by tickling his hair, and thinking about how much I loved him as he nursed himself to sleep.  It was if I had decided to switch off aggravation and switch on compassion.

As soon as he drifted off to sleep, which was much quicker, when I opened my heart, a phone call from a dozen years ago came to mind.

A few months before Nana died, she called me out of the blue.  I was sitting on the couch watching TV next to Zach, and she said, "Go get your bible."

I took the few steps to the large book she had given me a few years before and replied, "Got it."

"Turn to the Beatitudes."  Of course she had to tell me where to turn, even though I'd read it a dozen times and even translated it in Latin during high school (please don't ask me to do that last part now).

She asked me to read it to her, so I did.

She asked me what I thought "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" meant.

I don't remember what I replied, but I never forgot what she said, "I always thought it meant, those that don't have the resources to do God's work on earth."

I didn't question her, I just listened.  Resources?  Like they didn't have a church or a bible?  Rosaries, statues or saints?  What did she mean?

Her words have come to me hundreds of times in the last twelve years.  Every time they seemed just as mysterious as the day she spoke them, until last night.

God's resources aren't physical.  They're with us always: compassion, love, attention, understanding, patience, kindness, respect, selflessness, caring, and peace.

Words sure can get us into trouble, so I won't define God as I understand it.  I'll just tell you that it's probably not what you think, but the exactly the same as you feel.  It's when we feel something with our heart, not understand it with words, that we really get it.

Last night, Nana was with me.  She had tried for years to teach her spoiled granddaughter what God's resources were, and she finally had to plant the seed once and for all, hoping that one day it would blossom.

Well, Nana, your love is blossoming, and I appreciate you so much for what you taught me.

Right before Bodhi's first birthday, her gift finally woke me up, like it never had before.

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