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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blessed Is The Crouched Soul

There was this day, not too long ago, when I was working around my home and praying. I often ask God to show me ways that I can look less like me and more like His. That was on my heart again this day.

Almost instantly, the Beatitudes came to mind. You know the list, right? It's the list that begins with "Blessed are...".

I smiled as I read over this list. Yes. This was how He desired I begin to look "more like His". I saw 9 different characteristics as I skimmed the verses and went back to the first one, verse 3, to dig a big deeper.

It reads:
"Blessed are the poor in Spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." {Matthew 5:3 KJV}

You see, I thought I had it. I thought I already knew what that verse meant and I was ready to give a quick "Yes" to it and move on to the next one. Just as quickly as my heart wanted to move on, God impressed on me to look closer and really understand it first.

Friends? I'm still stuck on this verse and trying by God's grace to flesh it out. 

In my mind, "poor in spirit" meant to be constantly giving the gifts I receive as soon as I get them. The mercy and grace bestowed on me each day? The forgiveness I am constantly given? The unconditional love I receive without end? These are things I should be quick to give to others. I should hand it out over & over & over & even more than that. I shouldn't hoard these gifts for myself.

Maybe I'm a little bit right about that. Maybe that's how most would take this verse. 

I looked at the Greek word for "Poor", "ptochos", and my mind started spinning. Ptochos can easily be defined as "beggar" and that would fall in line with all I said before. But the root of this word is "ptosso" - to crouch. On repeat in my mind came the words, "Blessed is the spirit that is crouched. Blessed is the crouched soul."

I cried and said "But, how?". How to I bend my soul to crouch?"

I began to think of the times that I physically find myself in a crouched position...

  • when I'm picking up my little ones' toys {for the millionth time}
  • when my kiddos come to me and ask me to pick them up
  • when I bend to lift the laundry basket or the garbage bag from the can
  • when I'm searching for the lost toy or the missing shoe beneath every piece of furniture in my home
  • when I'm cleaning toilets or scrubbing the bathtub
  • when I'm gardening
  • and on and on...

Crouching began to look more and more like service as I made my list. Just to set this in stone, God used a big spot cleaning job on a floor rug. I found myself on my hands and knees as I worked and worked to remove the spots from the rug. My back hurt. My arms hurt. My legs hurt. My forehead began to break a sweat. My body became exhausted.

"This", I heard whispering in my heart. "This is what a crouched soul looks like. This is how you bend your spirit. I never said it would be easy or painless, but this is it."

Yes. Mercy, grace, unconditional love, forgiveness, and all good gifts are the gifts I'm called to give out until I'm like a beggar...but it's a step further. He called me to give it out until it hurts. He's asked me to work at it and work at it and work at it... until I break a sweat, until I feel like I may be too tired to go on,  until who I am is humbled and low so all I hand out is Him. This place. This is a place where He can be made full.

So I crouch. I bend my own will. I ask God to make my humanity disappear as I push it further down. I bow my head in worship and begin to give all that I have received. And so far, it's made me a bit uncomfortable...but it hasn't quite gotten to the point where it stings. This tells me I have further to go.

I talk things out with friends as I try and reconcile the many different situations that come to my heart. I seek out His answer for every storyline. "God, what does it look like here? How do I crouch low so you will be lifted up?"

It's a life journey. I may not get it right today, but as long as I'm given another day to live, I will try my hardest to be poor in Spirit - to be a crouched soul. There is joy here.



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