The Humble Shall Inherit

A poem on the broken and the blessed.

The humble shall inherit,
Yes, the weary and the
Scared, bent-shouldered beggars
Shall be give God’s own
Earth.

The poor are blessed, that truth’s
A hard, fast slap right in
The brazen, stylish face I’ve
Set to guard the hard-won
Places that I’ve gained
By dint of battle with
My brothers, by my grab
The prize and crush the gentle
Hearted, mourning other
Ones whose quiet eyes,
And shattered pride reveal them
As God’s sons.

Be still and know, He says,
But I instead grab hard,
Live fast in fevered chase of
Rest. By work and wit
I win a fractured ease,
And name it peace, I build
A fortress for my heart
And call it purity,
My love locked deep away
Lest any stranger think it
Fair and free and for
The easy taking. I am
Swift and sober, never
Weak or lonely, locked
Up tight within my towered
Integrity.

Until there comes a dawn,
A dim and weary day,
When grief has caught me, loss
Strips off the gilded smiles,
And the gaudy, pyrite
Kindness, all my sleights
Of soul to keep God’s glance
At bay.

I never really heeded
Christ; I thought that favor
Could be claimed by deeds;
No charity for me.
To earn, and own, my tiny
Piece of heaven was
My goal, to play the gracious
Host to God Himself,
For he might be the savior,
But I liked to think
That I was still, at very
Least, the keeper of
My soul.

I am impoverished now,
And know I always was.
No gold or golden deed
Can buy me worth. Alone
I bear the ancient dark
Of ruined pride, and in it
Find I am but dust
A bag of bones made quick
By holy breath, and even
That is not my own.

The silence grows, a calm
As of the grave descends,
At last I rest. Now still,
I am supposed to know…
Just what?
The shadows stir with breath,
The dimness lifts, and I
Grow taut in answer
As the dark is brimmed
With laughter, one small hand
Slips into mine, a mouth
Is lifted to my ear and says
“Be still, be still.”
I yield, and find that love
Can be so deep it feels like
Death. Perhaps it is,
The swift collapse of self
Beneath the weight of grace.
The Christ, the child speaks
Again, “I am Your God,
Your humble God. And now
You’re blessed beyond all men.
For my sweet kingdom comes
Unto the poor. And that
You finally have become.

 

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