“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:3)
The eyes of Jesus see what we cannot. They see beneath the surface of things, to the very depths. They see past the temporal, to the eternal. They see the value in things and situations that we do not typically see as desirable. That’s because Jesus is more concerned with our character than he is with our circumstances.
That’s why he can say that the poor in spirit are “blessed.” In fact, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The poor in spirit are the last, the lowest, and the least. They are the small, the hidden, and the quiet. The poor in spirit are the ones who are most open to God, because they need him so desperately. It is the lowly and the meek and the humble and the needy and the inadequate whose hearts are most receptive to God, not the proud and the arrogant and the powerful and the self-sufficient. It is in weakness that God’s strength comes shining through. Poverty of spirit is the very best soil in which to grow the most beautiful things of God.
At times we are tempted to ask, “Where is God in the midst of loneliness and brokenness and marginalization? Where is God in struggle and turmoil and weakness? Where is God in disruption and disorientation and disturbance?” But I think the better question is: “Where is God in success and attention and popularity? Where is God in pride and adequacy and competence? Which environment grows the better fruit of the Spirit within us? Which makes us more loving and grateful and compassionate? Which makes us more open and excited and receptive to receiving the kingdom of heaven?"
So, contrary to popular opinion, maybe the poor in spirit really are blessed after all.