Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. WB Yeats
The meek shall inherit the earth. The first thing that came to my mind was this quote: “tread lightly for you tread on my dreams”.
We tend to walk really heavy footed. We’re busy and thoughtless and often don’t notice what’s happening around us, or under us. We often put on layers and layers of armors and masks, so that we look strong when we feel, or are, weak and vulnerable. Everything we try to be is heavy and strong and powerful.
But Jesus asks us to let this heaviness, thoughtlessness, the armors, and heavy footed way of being fall away. Jesus asks us to walk lightly, meekly, so that we can see better and hear better what’s happening around us and perhaps even beneath us.
When we tread more meekly and simply, we notice the resources we are using that could be used more wisely and kindly. We notice those who have less and that our resources might be better shared.
When we disentangle ourselves from being strong and powerful, when we disengage from the entangle of more stuff, when we live more meekly, quietly, and simply, our relationships deepen. We develop a deeper relationship with the the world around us. Perhaps the (I love this) the “more than human world”: the birds and the animals and the Earth.
That relationship becomes something deeper than a relationship based on fear. Fear of fisher cats. Fear of coyotes. Fear of ticks and stinging things. Fear of high mountains and turbulent waters. Fear of eight legged things. Fear of bears. Fear of monsters. Fear. Fear. We have cultivated a relationship with the Earth based on fear and it’s growing. If we tread more lightly and meekly, we better see and understand the world around us…
As that relationship deepens, it becomes friendship and then love. Robin Wall Kimmerer would then say that we develop a relationship of Reciprocity where we give our love and attention and in return…(PAUSE)
Perhaps, we inherit the Earth.
Perhaps, this walking meekly could be a literal inheriting of the Earth. Inheriting the things we miss, and miss out on loving, when we stomp heavily and layer ourselves with unnecessary armors that keep us from opening up. We can develop a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the Garden. We may awaken on a deeper level to experience the blessings of life. Earth.
Maybe the meek literally inherit the Earth, the Garden, in gentleness, connection, and loving more deeply. Slowing down, being meek, and a little less busy to see and listen and feel.
A friend of mine laughs at me because I always try to use the word: “Full” instead of “Busy”. Busy feels like it’s out of my control, like I’m a victim and blaming the Universe. “Full” reminds me that this wonderful full life is made up of all those choices I make and continue to make. There’s a gentleness in acceptance that I made my life the way it is…
We can choose.
This all carries over to people. When we are meek and simple and humble those heavy armors of self identity and self will fall away. Maybe what Jesus wants us to understand is that all these identities aren’t labels that we are meant to cling to and hold on to, but ways of beings that we all experience. We are all poor and sad and meek at some point in our lives. We all feel as though we are never good enough. It’s ok to embrace it in the moment, but not to hold on to and cling to it. Sometimes we cling to our weaknesses. PAUSE.
Identity is fluid. Sometimes, we are strong, sometimes meek. Sometimes poor, sometimes rich. Sometimes sad, sometimes joyous. Who we are ebbs and flows. And it’s ok. In fact, it is a blessing.
We are blessed when we are at our weakest. We inherit the earth and the kingdom. When we are no longer at our weakest…why are we less likely to inherit this Goodness? PAUSE.
When we are meek, we listen and see better others for who they are. We accept others as they are. We remember that meek and strong are just fluid variables we all ebb and flow through. We interact with less judgement. Think of our children. We often push them into molds of who we think they should be. We give them their armors and protections. How often do these armors and protections keep them from being who they are and seeing others for who they are? I mention kids, because it’s often easier for us to see how we interact with those we have more influence in “molding”, but we do this to others too. Put them in nice, easy boxes: nice person, mean person, the wimpy person, the, uh, strong person.
When we slow down and are less hard and stubborn in our ways, we develop deeper relationships and inherit friends. Real relationships, and deep connections, for this earthly life.
We interact better with others. We listen and see better, even when it’s easier to turn away and cast labels. Especially those we have turned into monsters or Monsters. We’ve all heard, and experienced, stories of the most unlikely of friendships. Those friendships began with letting down the armors and listening and seeing. When we are humble and meek, we can be open to knowing those who challenge, or scare, us. Those who think differently, those who are culturally different, those who believe differently, those who are differently abled, or feel differently gendered.
Jesus asks us to get to know “others”. The meek, the poor, the marginalized, the sick, the physically ill, the mentally ill. To get to know others and who they are and remember that they are worthing of honor, blessings, and Grace. To accept and understand that friendships run the games of relationships. Love doesn’t mean that we always hang out with everyone or invite everyone into our homes or ignore realities or get stepped on, but it does mean that we realize our common humanity. That we may dislike the masks, and armors, and labels, and behaviors people cultivate to protect their most vulnerable selves, but that the core person is loved by God.
That is the gift of a loving God. Love.
Jesus, too, is asking us to accept who we are. To be patient, meek, and humble with, and of, ourselves. To be okay with the labels of ourselves that we are uncomfortable with. And, perhaps, to begin to let them go. We all have those labels and vulnerabilities. Some are skin deep and impact our relationship with our bodies and how we look from the outside. We only have to look at social media to see the implications of this on one another and society.
Others are deeper. We can’t see them. Especially with all those armors and shields. We don’t like to be open and vulnerable. But it is in openness and vulnerability that we experience the most powerful and deepest relationships with this life that we have been given.
We, none of us, is perfect. And yet, we are. PAUSE.
Meek, perhaps, asks us to let go of the armors we cling to to protect our self identity and to be open to being vulnerable, to being hurt, because to love the Earth, to love others, and to love ourselves is key. It is worth loss to know the deepest relationships. And in those deepest relationships, we inherit the Earth. We inherit friends and connection. We inherit Love.
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