Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Jesus Perspective: Blessed are those who Mourn

The Baby Centre lists seven reasons why babies cry. I noticed that being in pain is not one of them, so the list is not exhaustive. Maybe this list is the seven reasons babies cry when there isn’t an obvious pain source. Here are the reasons a baby would tell you she is crying if she could talk:

I need food
I need to be comfortable
I need to be warm — and not too hot or too cold
I need to be held
I need a rest
I need something to make me feel better
I need something ... but I don't know what

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Those are the reasons I cry! I don’t think that means I’m a baby. I think it means that those things that make us mourn stay pretty consistent and last a lifetime. I’m glad that Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” That’s not just a word for babies. It’s a word for me.

Jesus knew when he said “Happy are the mourners” that some don’t mourn. They never allow themselves to feel hungry, uncomfortable, cold, alone, weary, less than perfect, or unsatisfied. They take care of themselves. Oh, maybe they’ll give to another if they aren’t put out any by their giving; but they will never have to ask for comfort. They make sure they are comfortable.

The assumption of Jesus is that all of us have reason to mourn, but people who have hardened their hearts – like those who won’t acknowledge sin, feel compassion for others, admit their inadequacy, or recognize their helpless estate – never will.

As Matthew tells the story, those who won’t mourn simply miss out on the blessing of comfort. But Luke reveals more. He tells us that Jesus went on to say, “Woe to you who laugh now. You will mourn and weep.”

Those who don’t mourn have shut their hearts from the reality of their own insufficiency and from the pain of others. Jesus said that those who will keep their hearts open will receive comfort. That’s good. That’s Life at Work!

1 comment:

Falantedios said...

Everything I'm "relearning" about the Beatitudes, I'm learning from Dallas Willard's "The Divine Conspiracy". His argument that the Beatitudes are foundational to His entire Gospel was revolutionary to me. He has an interesting observation when he notes that many commentators seem to forget the simple fact that these were real words spoken to real people by a real person. Check it out sometime!

in HIS love,