Please remember: Lute Concert today at 3pm to support Suicide Prevention.
There is nothing easy about learning to walk the path we are asked to walk. The Path of Love. Loving and Being Loved.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are–no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. WB Yeats
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 of armors and masks, so that we look strong, maybe especially when we feel weak and vulnerable. We want to be strong and powerful…heavy, big, important.
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 and meekly, so that we can see better and hear better what’s happening all around us.
When we tread more meekly and simply, we notice the resources we are using that could be used more wisely or 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 entanglement 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. The people and the “more than human world”: the birds and the animals and the Earth. We become more connected in a disconnected world.
Relationship becomes something deeper than a relationship based on fear. Fear of one another. Fear that there might not be enough stuff to go around. Fear of nature. The fisher cats. Coyotes. Ticks and stinging things. Fear of high mountains and turbulent waters. Eight legged things. Bears. Monsters. We have cultivated a relationship with the Earth based on fear and it’s growing.
Even if we’re not afraid, we’re encouraged not to touch. Your stuff. My stuff. Not as much shared places and things (this is why we need libraries and shared worship spaces). Even in nature there’s clear delineation. Don’t step off the well marked trail. Don’t pick up a rock. Don’t touch the trees. Even in nature, which is naturally connecting, we feel separate. Don’t do anything that might mark you’ve been there. Which in many cases is good, but in some ways it’s made us separate from…the Garden. We’re not a part of it. We’re either alone or dominant; maybe those are the same things.
If we tread more lightly and meekly, we better see and understand the world around us. We begin to see our part within it. Our place in the pattern of life.
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. When we don’t fully engage and when we distance ourselves. Becoming fully present with gentleness, we can develop a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the Garden. We awaken a deeper experience of the blessings of life.
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. To become connected again. A part of the wholeness.
When we are meek and simple and humble and hungry 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. Often without anything outside of ourselves changing. The only thing that changes is us.
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. The defensive walls are too thick.
We must let down our guards. Then, we realize we don’t have to protect anything. We can let down the walls that keep us separated from those around us and the beautiful, blessed world around us.
When we are meek, we listen and see better others for who they are. We accept others as they are. We interact with less judgement. We let go of the armors and protections keep us from being who we are and seeing others for who they are. We forget the nice, easy boxes: nice person, mean person, wimpy person, strong person, better person, lesser person. We’re just people walking each other home.
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 engage better, even when it would be easier to turn away and cast labels. Especially those we have turned into “others” 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. We explored this in our shares and thoughts about Forgiveness over these past few months. When we are humble and meek, we can be open to knowing those who challenge and 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 worthy of honor, blessings, and Grace. Love doesn’t mean that we always hang out with everyone or invite everyone into our homes or ignore realities and let ourselves get hurt…but Love does ask us to realize our common humanity. Love reminds us that we may dislike the masks, armors, labels, and behaviors people put on to protect their most vulnerable selves, but that the core person is loved by God.
That is the gift of a loving God. Love. And there’s nothing “easy” about loving ourselves and one another.
Jesus, too, is asking us to accept who we are. To be patient, meek, and humble with 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 labels and vulnerabilities. Some are skin deep and impact our relationship with our bodies. We only have to look at social media, or magazine covers, 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.
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.