What is poverty to you? When you are poor, you have little of something. Also, you are in need of something. You could be missing money, love or shelter. You could need a job or someone to talk to. There are many needs for people.
According to the World Bank, 2 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. The same source tells us that the majority of people, 80% actually, live on less than $10 a day and below the poverty line. Two billion people cannot afford adequate food, shelter or mobility.
So, am I a jerk for talking about poverty when I just finished dinner? Do discussions like this cause any change? Some person might see a person in a direct mail announcement living in Sub-Saharan Africa and decide to go there and help. I don’t know.
I have been hungry and without shelter. I have been lost and without love. In all of those times, I never felt empty like I do sometimes when I find myself doing something that goes against my spiritual beliefs. There is this specific hunger that follows a grave mistake.
Today, I was listening to the Catholic Priest at my Church talk about how people reacted to Jesus Christ when he first went around curing the sick and feeding the hungry. People thought that He was demonic. But, the people who had a need of some kind had no problems with this person who went around helping and teaching.
That made me think that spiritual poverty has to do with two things, need and awareness of that need. Those people who thought that Jesus Christ was a threat to their way of life cared more about their pride in their status than in spiritual growth. I mean, how can you grow, if you think that you’ve already grown up?
And humility? That is a big deal in discussing spiritual poverty. The Priest said that the people who looked to Jesus Christ for help were simple people. They saw what Jesus was doing and did not judge him, they just recognized that he had something special, that he was holy. So humility might be the key to the kingdom.
Jesus was humble and even to death. In this society, there’s not much of a big call for humility. You’re supposed to be ambitious and to believe in yourself. You’re supposed to strike out on your own and innovate. If you go through your teens without rebelling, there’s something wrong.
People who have nothing, have nothing to lose. If they are not aware of what they don’t have, then they don’t know that they don’t have anything. If they are aware of what they don’t have, but they still feel satisfied, then they cannot be in need. I know, I just think that I am sounding like I am over thinking this.
I am free writing about a line from the Bible from the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” It is a verse that always came to mind when I felt poor or when I was missing something that I wanted.
Some people in earlier times used to say “spirit” when they spoke of people’s personality. People who were funny and a little wild were called spirited. Maybe, that is what the spiritual poverty verse is referring to. “It is hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way,” sang Mac Davis.
He concludes by singing that he is doing the best that he can.