Beyond Poor

Thoughts directly posted on this blog. Please bear with the errors and other unpleasant stuff.


“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

                       for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3, NIV

Who is the poor in spirit? How would you describe them? For the past few days, I wanted to know. I’ve been searching for explanations and it has boggled me so much. From another’s eye, it would seem that this is irrelevant and I am wasting my time. They maybe right.

I did what I thought sensible. I sought other versions of the quote with the hope that one of these versions might provide a different approach or a different translation. I have heard of other people who wrote their own perspectives on the verse. Yet I couldn’t get my hands on any of those. I only had the Bible to rely on.

Who is poor in spirit? Is he/she someone who has nothing at all? Is he/she someone who feels there’s a huge gaping whole in his/her being? Is he/she a searching soul? Someone with low self esteem perhaps? How would you know someone who is poor in spirit? Is there someone who is rich in spirit?

Apparently “poor in spirit” seemed to be clear to most of the translators of the Bible. They seemed to have left the phrase intact while revising the words around it, like “blessed” became “happy” and many others. I guess many found it easy to understand. So why am I confused?

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”

Matthew 5:3, The Message

A hiker, at the end of his ropes, might be dangling from atop a cliff with no hope of anyone to catch him beneath. His only hope is something to break his fall or that the drop would not be fatal. A boxer at the end of the ropes is someone who has been pushed against the wall by his enemy. He is already battered and bloody. His only chance of escaping death is a defensive stance or admission of defeat. We can only imagine how they feel.

Or I guess this is what it is like.

I guess this is how it feels.

I realized today that I am at the end of my ropes. I am already pushed against the ropes, bloody and bruised. Today, it seemed like everything that I have placed my hands into lately are slowly falling apart. And to top it all off, I feel and think that I have no where to turn to and time is running out. Otherwise everything will fall apart. Everything will disappear.

Now I know what poor in spirit means. Now I know how it feels. Now I know that I am poor in spirit. It is the absence of any rational way out of a problem. It is the absence of ideas, solutions and time. It is the point of despair where your only option is to cling to someone higher, better, stronger than you. Upon examining all the possibilities, only God is higher, better or stronger. There is no hope without Him.

To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?”

            – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Right now, I am a worm.

I am dust in the earth.

I am a speck.

I am nothing.

Right now, only God is my hope.

I am only His.



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