Your presence Lord."
-Francesca Battistelli, Holy Spirit
In Matthew 5, Jesus shares a list of uncommon, unexpected superlatives that we've come to know as The Beatitudes. "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth... Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God..."
I've spent the past two weeks learning about and participating in Habitat's work in the south central African nation of Malawi. Habitat Wake provides regular financial support to Habitat Malawi. An entire home with latrine costs $3,000.
Malawi is a beautiful country full of very joyful and gracious people. Habitat's work is led by an incredibly talented group of native Malawians who are called to serve the most needy of their fellow citizens. Their innovative programs to serve the most vulnerable--those orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic is truly a bright light in a country where 80% of the population resides in severely substandard dwellings.
I visited in several newly constructed and occupied Habitat homes--modest 400 square foot homes with bricks made from the dirt in the yard, metal roof sheets and concrete. What startled me was that the homes contained NO possessions. Nothing. No things. No furniture, no basic household tools. No food. No extra sets of clothes.
No things, but plenty of smiles, singing, drumming, dancing, and a generosity of helping others in the village in an amazing cooperative spirit. "Where is your mosquito net?" "I gave it to my neighbor because they have a newborn who is more at risk of dying from malaria than my 5 year old." That kind of generosity!
There is a reliance on God that I long for, but have no way to grasp in my world of (too) many things. O God, how the things we surround ourselves with get in our way of knowing you and knowing the joy that only comes from pure generosity!
Dare we add to the list of Beatitudes?
How would you complete the following:Blessed are those with no things, for .... ?